for victims of political repression in Mexico, a leader of a human rights
organization will speak at a free public lecture at the University of
Cerezo of Mexico City will speak on Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Room
221 of the Noel Fine Arts Center. His presentation, “Drugs, Guns, and U.S.
Policies in Mexico: Lessons from the Human Rights Organization Comité Cerezo”
is part of the Latin American/Caribbean Speaker Series sponsored by the College
of Letters and Science.
will deliver the presentation in Spanish with an interpreter providing
consecutive translation into English. The appearance is part of a Midwest
speaking tour organized by Witness for Peace, a 30-year-old, politically
independent organization of U.S. citizens committed to the promotion of
U.S. policies in Latin America that support peace, justice and nonviolence.
will describe how a militarized approach to dealing with drug trafficking has
led to increased violence, political repression and human rights violations in
former Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, took the fateful step of mobilizing
the military to battle the drug cartels, more than 60,000 Mexicans have lost
their lives,” said Jennifer Collins, associate professor of political science
at UW-Stevens Point. “Not only has this militarized approach taken a terrible
toll on Mexican society but it has not succeeded in stemming the flow of drugs;
this should give us pause and lead us to consider alternatives.”
and family members formed Comité Cerezo after three of his brothers were
arrested in 2001 for student activism. The organization fought for their
liberation while they were incarcerated and subjected to physical and
psychological torture in federal prison for more than seven years. Since
the Cerezo brothers’ release, Comité Cerezo has continued to organize on behalf
of political prisoners in Mexico, and is part of a national campaign to protect
human rights defenders. The organization estimates that over 900 individuals
have been detained or persecuted for political reasons in Mexico since 2000.
The interdisciplinary Latin American/Caribbean Speaker Series at UW-Stevens
Point was founded in 2011 to promote awareness of political, social, economic,
environmental, and cultural issues in Mexico, Central and South America and the
Caribbean. For more information on this or other series events, contact Collins
at 715-346-2439 or email Jennifer.Collins@uwsp.edu.