Well, we all did it. A major team effort. The CANANA event last night at El Museo Interactivo de Economia was a huge success.
Tam and I were eating breakfast Sunday morning and the woman next to us had her newspaper open and was reading about our event!
CANANA (Pablo Cruz, Diego and Gael) gave WITNESS and La Comision, along with Miguel David Meza and Paty Cervantes the time and space to address the importance of human rights, the use of film/video to defend those rights and highlighted the murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico. It was an event unlike any other in Mexico, and from what I could tell, people were really ready for it. They were soaking up the information and listening so intently, you could hear a pin drop in the room.
Journalist Carmen Aristegui hosted the evening and did an amazing job.
Speakers included Gael and Diego, GIllian and Tam from WITNESS, Paulina Vega from La Comision, Miguel David Meza and Paty Cervantes, Amerigo Incalcaterra (Mexico’s Rep to the UN High Commission for Human RIghts), and Alejandro Ramirez and Francisco Cordoba (two of the evening’s sponsors).
It was one of the rare moments when it’s almost as if you are behind a mirror and can see how people respond to WITNESS and the work we are doing.
The most inspiring part of the night for me was seeing the strength in Paty Cervantes and Miguel David Meza. They stood on the stage, in front of hundreds of strangers, and talked about the enormous suffering they have undergone and the suffering which continues to this day. They spoke how our video Dual Injustice/Doble Injusticia has affected their lives and how important it is that we do not forget their story, or the stories of the hundreds of women who have been brutally murdered. Their grace was unparalleled.
WITNESS and La Comision, along with Paty and David, asked that everyone at the event sign a letter to the Mexican President Felipe Calderon, which we had placed at every seat. The letter asks in part, that those who tortured Miguel David in prison be brought to justice, that he receive reparations for what he has gone through at the hands of the police, and that those responsible for the death of his cousin Neyra Cervantes be brought to justice. Hundreds of people signed the letter. CANANA even had a HUGE version (at least 4 feet tall) made from the letter that Peter Gabriel signed, in the hopes that it would inspire people to sign it as well.
And in true WITNESS fashion, as the evening wound down, the beautiful Lila Downs had finished her set, and people were leaving, etc, Gillian, Tam and I, along with Paty and David, squished into a tiny taxi headed back to our hotel — but — WITH the HUGE urgent action letter. Too big to fit IN the taxi with all 6 of us, we put it on the roof. With our hands out the windows, holding down the life size urgent action letter signed by Peter and Gael and Diego, we sped down the streets of Mexico City. We made it safely to the hotel and the letter continued on it’s way with Paty, to it’s new home in Chihuahua, Mexico.
More to come, along with links to the press on the event and photos.
Bye for now.
Miguel David Meza and Paty Cervantes in front of a letter for Mexican President Calderon.