A group of about 80 people denouncing the war on drugs walked Wednesday from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on West Central Avenue to Corpus Christi University Parish on Dorr Street.
Once they neared Corpus Christi, members of the Caravan for Peace -- many of them Mexican citizens who have friends or family among the tens of thousands who have died there in drug-related crimes -- chanted, "No more drug war."
Through a translator, Lourdes Campos Romo said her son was shot five times inside his own home two years ago.
Photo gallery: Caravan for Peace rally
She described him as "an honest man, a worker, a dreamer," and the victim "of a failed war on drugs."
The Caravan for Peace started its 6,000-mile trek across the United States in San Diego on Aug. 12.
The journey is to end this month in the District of Columbia. After leaving Toledo, the caravan headed for Cleveland.
Renee Heberle, a professor at the University of Toledo, addressed the crowd -- also with the help of a translator -- and said drug policies in Mexico and the United States are harmful.
"The availability of guns on the streets and in our homes has turned the market of drugs into a dangerous space," Ms. Heberle said, describing what she called "informal militarization," citing street gangs.
She said drug policies are also run by a more "formal militarization" with an "increased use of SWAT units to knock down doors and break into alleged drug houses."
The war on drugs, she added, has caused a dramatic rise in the number of incarcerated people in the United States, from about 41,000 in the 1980s to nearly 500,000 now. "The war on drugs has led to the U.S. leading the world in incarceration rates," she said.