Palas Por Pistolas’ is a world-wide campaign to make communities safer. Our mission is achieved through only one very specific procedure, which is to turn weapons into shovels to plant trees. For every weapon that is destroyed one tree is planted. In our first campaign in Culiacán, a city in western Mexico, 1527 guns were melted and made into 1527 shovels to plant 1527 trees. This successful experience lead the way to replicate the project in Ciudad Juarez where the Mexican government gave us access to 6700 destroyed weapons. Our immediate task is be to transform this metal into 6700 shovels and initiate the planting of 6700 trees in a bi-national plantings throughout 2012 and 2013.
Violence in cities affects everyone, not only the direct victims of crime, but local businesses, tourism, investment, families, children, etc. We believe that by taking weapons out of circulation we are not only saving lives, but also increasing the general well being of the community. In addition the planting of trees is one of the most urgent actions needed today. We have lost 40% of our forests in Mexico in the last 30 years and drought is putting in great danger the food security of the poorest communities. Planting trees has a measurable benefit not only for local populations, but also for the entire planet as the most effective way to curb climate change.
The goal of Palas por Pistolas is to become a permanent campaign to curb the circulation of small weapons in the entire Mexican territory while planting trees in civic participation acts.