LAWRENCE — Mexican human rights activist Francisco Cerezo will visit the University of Kansas to discuss the role of U.S. drug policy in the increased violence, militarization and political repression currently being experienced in Mexico.
His lecture, “Drugs, Guns, and U.S. Policies in Mexico: Lessons from the Mexican Human Rights Organization Comité Cerezo,” will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Ecumenical Campus Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave.
Comité Cerezo was founded in 2001 after the arrest of three of Cerezo’s brothers, Alejandro, Héctor and Antonio. Sent to a maximum-security federal prison after being arrested for student activist work, the brothers were incarcerated for more than seven years, suffering physical and psychological torture. Family members and allies formed the Comité Cerezo to fight for their liberation.
Since the release of the Cerezo brothers, the organization has continued to promote and defend the rights of victims of political repression in Mexico. Comité Cerezo also conducts workshops for training and strengthening the knowledge of human rights defenders.
The event is being brought to KU by Witness for Peace-Upper Midwest, an organization that has advocated for change in U.S. foreign policies and corporate practices in order to promote peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas since 1983.
The lecture responds to the university’s strategic theme Building Communities, Expanding Opportunities, and was organized with support of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a comprehensive National Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the university. CLACS coordinates and supports interdisciplinary research and teaching about the Americas on the KU campus and conducts educational outreach to teachers and communities throughout the Great Plains and the nation. Humanities and Western Civilization’s Peace and Conflict Studies program and Ecumenical Campus Ministries are also sponsors.