Dear neighbors, it’s Cinco de Mayo!

Benito Juarez, a full-blooded Zapotec and the first indigenous national to serve as President of Mexico, had a golden rule: El respeto al derecho ajeno, es la paz” (“Peace means respecting the rights of others”). 

Giving priority to the needs of the people of Mexico, President Juarez temporarily suspended foreign debt payments, what we would call default. The French Emperor  Napoleon III  used the episode as a pretext to launch the French military and political intervention in Mexico in 1862.

The Mexicans won a victory over the French at Puebla in 1862, and eventually the defeated French left Mexico. This victory is celebrated annually as  Cinco de Mayo  (May 5).  

Local corruption coupled with military and economic interventions by powerful international interests continue to cause misery and suffering in all the Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia.

Today I salute and honor all the Latin American people who stand up for their rights wherever they live, and I offer my support in solidarity.

One of my first actions as Richmond Mayor in 2007 was to fight the ICE raids in our city, to reaffirm Richmond as a Sanctuary City, and to go to Washington, D.C., to demand the end of ICE’s abuse. I stopped the local driver’s license checkpoints targeting Latino drivers. When the State of California refused to offer driver’s licenses or IDs to undocumented residents, I created the Richmond Municipal ID program.
Let our community stand together in “respecting the rights of others” which, as Don Benito Juarez said, is the meaning of “peace”.

En solidaridad,

Gayle McLaughlin
Mayor of Richmond, CA 2007-2015
Richmond City Council candidate