We are posting this letter from sectors of the Catholic Church in Ciudad Juarez.
To the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon Felipe Calderon Hinojosa
To the Attorney General of Mexico, Arturo Chavez Chavez Chavez
To the Governor of the State of Chihuahua, Jose Reyes Baeza
To the Mayor of Juarez, Jose Reyes Ferriz
To the people of Mexico and to the International Community
We, along with many in this city, the state and the country, seek to hold accountable all those in public office who have sworn to loyally carry out your duties on behalf of the people of Mexico
The insecurity, the violence and death that is the result of the war against the drug cartels in Ciudad Juarez has reached unimaginable levels. There have been nearly 5,000 murders, the majority which have not been resolved, in only 25 months. This city of workers is immersed in the anguish of not having a job, nor having access to medical services, or enough food, only poverty; of businesses that are closed because of the violence, the ignored and constant murder of women, likewise the kidnappings and the extortions that make one afraid to even answer the telephone.
Ciudad Juarez is a hospitable community, where we work and respect the order of law. We accepted and believed that your decisions were for the common good and we therefore received the “Joint Operation for Juarez”, which was later called “Joint Operation Chihuahua” and today called the, “Coordinated Operation Chihuahua”.
With respect and also with much energy we say to you that your programs have failed, they are ineffective, the history of death from April of 2008 to today is a witness of this, and if this is not enough we ask the families of the Villas of Salvarcar why their sons and daughters and parents were massacred in a manner that one only sees in a war.
The Juarez community has done much in our search for peace. We have shown our solidarity in peaceful ways, such as marches, forums, Catholic Masses, vigils, visits, by forming groups and organizations or movements of young people, students, doctors, women, people of faith of different religions and of common citizens who themselves have suffered from the murders, the kidnappings, the unemployment and who have felt the suffering of all the victims of the violence.
We do not accept that you have closed the case (of the massacre) based on declarations without much evidence and we repudiate the insensitivity of the government in stating that the massacre was a result of a fight “between gangs”.
We do not accept the declaration of war against no one in particular, the result being permanent mourning and daily funerals in our city.
Murder and this violent life cannot be justified not even for the delinquents, (for this we have laws, a government and a constitution that need to be respected), but even more, this incomprehensible death for a group of neighbors, mostly young people, who after taking precautions, decided to celebrate a birthday in their own neighborhood, is an event that defies explanation, where there are no words to explain.
Making the pain of the families of Salvarcar our own, as well as the pain of the thousands who have lost children, parents and family members, and the pain of those who have been kidnapped and have suffered extortion, the pain of the unemployed and the pain of a city who has had its very life kidnapped, we demand the following:
1. The immediate clarification of the massacre of the 16 people of Salvarcar
2. Specialized medical attention for the wounded.
3. Protection for the families who are receiving threats and professional attention for those who need it.
4. A public apology for the declarations that insulted the memory and the dignity of the young people and the other victims of the massacre.
5. End the impunity for the gangs, the police and the military.
6. The removal of the military from Juarez.
7. An efficient, transparent and measurable program that will provide security for the citizens of Juarez. That this program be permanently observed and evaluated by citizen groups and by other national and international observers.
The Workers Social Ministry of the Diocese of Juarez
Catholic Charities of Juarez
Incarnate Word Parish