Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | AUGUST 28, 2012 6:30 AM

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Caravan for Peace and Justice with Dignity

Want to stop the drug war? Here’s your chance to help. Javier Sicilia, one of Mexico’s most revered and influential poets, is leading a caravan across the United States to call for an end to the war on drugs. The Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity began in California Aug. 12, will arrive in Chicago in time for Labor Day and end in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12.

Sicilia, whose 24-year-old son was murdered by drug traffickers last year, is confronting the failed policies that have taken the lives of more than 60,000 people in Mexico since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006.

To raise awareness of the enormous cost of this war, Sicilia and others are bringing their message to the United States, which spends more than $51 billion a year on the failed effort to stop illegal drug use. They want policies that approach drug use as a medical problem, not a criminal one and to stop gun trafficking. Drug cartels are opposed to both of these actions, which would cut deeply into their business.

Throughout Latin America, the war in drugs is used to militarize daily life, while in the United States, it’s used to incarcerate and cast as felons primarily people of color. One-fourth of all inmates in state and half in federal prisons in the United States are nonviolent drug offenders.

To support the Caravan for Peace on Labor Day, you can join Sicilia at 18th and Union Avenue at 11:30 a.m., at the Museum of Mexican Art at 1852 W. 19th St. from 1-4 p.m., or join the March for Peace starting at 4005 W. 26th St. (Little Village’s Arch) at 5 p.m.

It’s time to show the people of Mexico that we can be good neighbors and stop this nonsense.

Gloria Walker

Dismissal of Rastetter allegations wrong

I would like to address the dismissal of ethics charges against Iowa Regent Bruce Rastetter by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board with a cliché.

If it looks like a duck (a late conflict-of-interest disclosure), if it sounds like a duck (a $13,379.82 check to ISU officials), if it walks like a duck (a misleading and incomplete financial disclosure), it’s probably a duck.

The Iowa ethics board failed all Iowans by not bagging this duck.

Frank Jones

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