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Announcement :: International Relations

What You Can Do to Oppose Plan Mexico

A subcommittee hearing regarding the U.S. military aid package to Mexico is going to be held Thursday. Later congress will have to discuss this and decide whether or not they want to approve it. Here are some simple things you can do to oppose Plan Mexico.
Hi Friends

Plan Mexico is a proposed $1.5 billion U.S. aid package to Mexico to supposedly fight drug cartels. It will involve mostly military aid to a corrupt abusive military and police force, much like the failed Plan Colombia. If you are a U.S. citizen that would like to take action against Plan Mexico, you can send letters to the following people. Sample letters are below, if you don’t want to draft your own. Edit them if you like.

A subcommittee hearing will be held on Thursday, October 25 to discuss Plan Mexico. Please contact Chairman Eliot L. Engels before Thursday to urge him to say no to Plan Mexico:

Eliot L. Engels, Chairman, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
Phone: 202-225-2464
Fax: 202-225-5513
Email (for non-constituents outside of his New York district): jason.steinbaum (at) mail.house.gov

If you can’t contact him before Thursday, contact him anyway. Also contact these key people:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
AmericanVoices (at) mail.house.gov
Phone: 202-225-4965

Mike Sheehy, Pelosi's foreign policy staffer
mike.sheehy (at) mail.house.gov

Texas Representative Silvestre Reyes
He’s an involved leader with border and immigration issues, and he supports Plan Mexico.
peter.ambler (at) mail.house.gov
Phone: 202-225-4831
Fax: 202-225-2016

Your own congresspeople
www.senate.gov
www.house.gov

You can also talk about Plan Mexico with fellow activists, friends, and family. Spread the news about what is going on. Hand out fliers at peace protests. You can find one flier here:

www.friendsofbradwill.org/2007/10/16/12-months-later/

For more detailed information about Plan Mexico, you can look here:

chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/79803/index.php

For more information about human rights violations in Mexico, including the murder of New York Indymedia journalist Brad Will:

www.rsf.org/article.php3

Two Sample Letters

Letter #1 – for Engels regarding the hearing

Letter #2 – generic letter for congresspeople, including Engels if you contact him after the hearing

They say more or less the same thing, but they are more specifically directed at said people.

Letter #1

Dear Subcommittee Chairman Engels,

I am aware that there will be a subcommittee hearing this week regarding the U.S. aid package to Mexico that is meant to fight drug cartels, also referred to as “Plan Mexico.” Many people in Mexico and in the States, including myself, are very concerned about the military aspect of this aid package.

The Mexican police and military are both extremely corrupt and its members often rape, assault, and even kill Mexico’s citizens with impunity. Its members also have ties to illegal paramilitaries and often consume illegal drugs themselves. Indigenous people and activists in Oaxaca and Chiapas regularly are threatened, assaulted, and sometimes murdered in their own communities by Mexican military. Last year during the protests in Oaxaca and Atenco Mexican police beat peaceful protesters and journalists in the streets, raped women while transporting them to jail, and even killed some activists. New York Indymedia journalist Brad Will was shot and killed while filming the Oaxaca conflict. Not a single person has been punished for these crimes.

I strongly urge you to say no to Plan Mexico. The Bush Administration has been delaying releasing any details to the public. We do know, however, that it involves about $1.5 billion for two years of this plan. Since the Bush Administration won’t come clean and release any details, I can only assume this huge sum of money is meant to be spent on expensive weaponry and high tech military and police aid that will go directly into the hands of the corrupt government officials who are abusing their own citizens. As we have already learned by spending $5 billion in Colombia (so far), this does not decrease drug consumption in the United States and only spreads more violence and abuse in the country that is receiving the aid.

This aid package is clearly meant to benefit U.S. weapons manufacturers and the politicians who receive their campaign contributions. Those are the same parties that are currently benefiting from Plan Colombia today.

Aid should focus on peaceful police and military reform, and it should demand that an independent human rights commission be allowed to investigate the murders and abuses in Atenco, Oaxaca, and throughout Chiapas and other states, and the ties to illegal paramilitaries. The Mexican government should then be forced to bring the perpetrators to justice. Subsidies should be provided to Mexico’s poorest farmers who can’t compete with cheap U.S. imported agricultural products. This is a major factor that pushes them to cultivate drugs. Viable, sustainable options should be available to them.

As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, you have a responsibility and an opportunity to speak out on an aid package that could either peacefully help people or cause more violence and suffering to Mexico’s most vulnerable population. Please say no to Plan Mexico.

I appreciate you taking my thoughts into consideration for the upcoming hearing, and look forward to hearing your views regarding this matter.

Respectfully Yours,

_______________________

Letter #2

Dear ________________,

Congress will soon be discussing and voting on “Plan Mexico,” the U.S. aid package to Mexico that is meant to fight drug cartels. Many people in Mexico and in the States, including myself, are very concerned about the military aspect of this aid package.

The Mexican police and military are both extremely corrupt and its members often rape, assault, and even kill Mexico’s citizens with impunity. Its members also have ties to illegal paramilitaries and often consume illegal drugs themselves. Indigenous people and activists in Oaxaca and Chiapas regularly are threatened, assaulted, and sometimes murdered in their own communities by Mexican military. Last year during the protests in Oaxaca and Atenco Mexican police beat peaceful protesters and journalists in the streets, raped women while transporting them to jail, and even killed some activists. New York Indymedia journalist Brad Will was shot and killed while filming the Oaxaca conflict. Not a single person has been punished for these crimes.

I strongly urge you to say no to Plan Mexico. The Bush Administration has been delaying releasing any details to the public. We do know, however, that it involves about $1.5 billion for two years of this plan. Since the Bush Administration won’t come clean and release any details, I can only assume this huge sum of money is meant to be spent on expensive weaponry and high tech military and police aid that will go directly into the hands of the corrupt government officials who are abusing their own citizens. As we have already learned by spending $5 billion in Colombia (so far), this does not decrease drug consumption in the United States and only spreads more violence and abuse in the country that is receiving the aid.

This aid package is clearly meant to benefit U.S. weapons manufacturers and the politicians who receive their campaign contributions. Those are the same parties that are currently benefiting from Plan Colombia today.

Aid should involve peaceful police and military reform, and it should demand that an independent human rights commission be allowed to investigate the murders and abuses in Atenco, Oaxaca, and throughout Chiapas and other states, and the ties to illegal paramilitaries. The Mexican government should then be forced to bring the perpetrators to justice. Subsidies should be provided to Mexico’s poorest farmers who can’t compete with cheap U.S. imported agricultural products. This is a major factor that pushes them to cultivate drugs. Viable, sustainable options should be available to them.

As a member of congress, you have a responsibility and an opportunity to speak out on an aid package that could either peacefully help people or cause more violence and suffering to Mexico’s most vulnerable population. Please say no to Plan Mexico.

I appreciate you taking my thoughts into consideration, and look forward to hearing your views regarding this matter.

Respectfully Yours,

_______________________

Thank you for anything you can do.

Peace,
Jennifer Truskowski
 
 

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