October 21, 2013
Francisco Cerezo will present "Drugs, Guns and U.S. Policies in Mexico: Lessons from a Mexican Human Rights Organization" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in room 264, Quadrangle Building, Saint John's University.
As part of his Midwest tour with the Witness for Peace program, Cerezo will speak on how the United States' $1.1 billion militarized approach to the war on drugs has contributed to increased violence, political persecution and human rights violations in Mexico. He will also highlight how his family-founded organization advocates for and protects the rights of victims of political repression and their defenders.
Cerezo, from Mexico City, has spent the last 11 years fighting for the freedom of political prisoners and co-founded the Mexican human rights organization, Comité Cerezo.
The Cerezo family formed Comité Cerezo in response to the 2001 detention of three of Francisco's brothers for student activism, during which they were incarcerated and tortured physically and psychologically in federal prison for over seven years. Comité Cerezo has documented about 500 cases of human rights violations since April 2012 in Mexico.
Cerezo's Midwest tour is intended to raise awareness for those struggling to remedy the increasing violence, political persecution and human rights violations in Mexico.
The talk is part of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University's 2013-14 Global Awareness Lecture Series, which has hosted guest speakers on international relations topics since 1982.
This event is co-sponsored by the International Affairs Club at CSB and SJU and Witness for Peace-Upper Midwest Region, a politically independent, grassroots organization working to increase awareness and promote activism regarding U.S. policies in Latin America through delegations, speaker tours, and local events and actions.