The congressional hearing it planned to protest was postponed, but that didn't stop the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity from holding a rally near the Capitol Tuesday.
The group, which is calling for an end to the drug war in Mexico, planned to hold a press conference following a House Oversight Committee hearing on the controversial gun-walking operation known as Fast and Furious.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the Oversight chairman, was forced to postpone the hearing until next week when Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz told him in a letter that his report on the botched operation would not be ready until later this week. Horowitz will testify at the rescheduled hearing next Wednesday on the operation, in which federal officials failed to keep illegally purchased weapons from being smuggled into Mexico from Arizona.
The Caravan for Peace, which had hoped to highlight issues brought up by Fast and Furious that have still not been resolved, held their conference despite the scheduling change. At the event, victims of drug war violence in Mexico shared their stories at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.
"Everyone admits Fast and Furious was a bad idea. But instead of moving on and saying, 'what do we do to staunch the flow of illegal weapons to Mexico?' they've just been going around and around and around on Fast and Furious," said Joy Olson of the Washington Office on Latin America, which joined the event to support the Caravan. "The point of this is to say 'Fast and Furious was bad, but every day there are still victims of violence in Mexico.'"
Because the caravan was in town Tuesday, the group decided to go ahead with the press conference, Olson said.
"We're talking about the same thing," Olson said, adding "What I'm hoping is that when they do the hearing next week, they will come back to some of the issues that are discussed today, so we can get people to start thinking about these things at the same time."