(Letter delivered to Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinsten on January 5, 2015)
Los Angeles, CA. January 5th 2015
The Honorable Sen. Diane Feinstein,
As residents of California we are extremely concerned about the wave of violence that has engulfed Mexico as well as the ongoing human rights violations suffered by Mexicans including some of our own family members who have been victims of the so-called war on drugs.
In the two short years of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration, according to official statistics, more than 40,000 Mexicans have been assassinated, and close to 10,000 have been disappeared, including 43 young student teachers from the normal school in Ayotzinapa at the hands of municipal police, and according to recent press accounts, with the participation of the Mexican military. After three months and over seventy people arrested, the government has not been able to provide a credible account of what happened to these young students who ranged in age from 19 to 21 years. Their disappearance has produced popular indignation and sparked an unparalleled wave of protests in Mexico.
According to Comité Cerezo, a Mexican civic organization, more than 600 human rights defenders have been arbitrarily arrested during the two years of the Peña Nieto administration. This is only a small sample of the intolerable conditions that the Mexican people have experienced under this administration.
On January 5th and 6th 2015, Enrique Peña Nieto will visit Washington and will be hosted at the White House by President Barak Obama where it is expected that both countries will announce strengthened bilateral relations on matters ranging from security, immigration and commerce. We considered it very troubling that our government continues to use our taxes to subsidize a government that violates basic human rights and is not held accountable to its own population.
Honorable Senator Feinstein, as our representatives, in the state with the highest number of Mexicans who live outside of their country, we ask that you closely monitor developments in Mexico, fully implement the Leahy amendment that prohibits funds to military forces that violate the human rights of its population as is the case with the government of Enrique Pena Nieto.
This is our first message with your office concerning this troubling matter. We would like to open permanent lines of communication with you in order to inform you about what is occurring in Mexico and its impact on families in California. We hope you would consider holding public hearings in the Senate about the serious human rights crisis occurring in Mexico.
Contact: Rubén Tapia (310) 713-0106 / email@example.com
* On behalf of the Latin American Coalition for Ayotzinapa in Los Angeles and Coordinadora Independencia.