After a quiet Independence Day, thousands march for peace in Tijuana / by Bianca Fortis

Photos by Elaine Cromie; Words by Bianca Fortis

In Mexico, sustained drought has significantly reduced the country’s agricultural production. Poverty persists. Nearly one year has passed since the disappearance of the Missing 43 in Iguala and still most of the students have yet to even be identified.

And although there is no official tally of the number of casualties in the Mexican Drug War, at least 164,000 people have been victims of homicide since 2007, according to a July PBS report based on data from the Mexican government. Experts believe it likely that that number is far higher.

It is no question that the North American country is plagued with a number of pressing social issues.

Mexico’s Independence Day was last week, and typically the country’s streets are filled with celebratory whoops and hollers during the anniversary of el Grito, the event that marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. But this year, in Tijuana, the city was noticeably quieter, perhaps a testament to the country’s bleak political climate.

But on Sunday, thousands of the city’s residents did fill the streets — during a rally for global peace.

Peace One Day, which serves as an international annual call for peace and as well as an effort to institutionalize World Peace Day, takes place today. In Tijuana, participants — including United States military veterans who have been deported, as well as DREAMer moms, the deported mothers of DREAM youth activists still living in the United States — also used the event as a platform for their individual social justice issues.

Thousands gathered at the Paseo de los Héroes and marched in solidarity up to the Mexico-U.S. border.