Tens of Thousands March in Mexico City to Protest Drug Violence
Mexico's drug war -- which is inexplicably tied to our own -- has claimed nearly 35,000 lives since 2006, a horrifying number that's tantamount to genocide. With a cartel-infiltrated military, government and police force, there's no real sign of the violence decreasing among an increasingly desperate population. Yesterday, up to 50,000 people marched through Mexico City to Zocalo Square in protest of the deaths that are devastating the country.
Organized by Javier Sicilia, a renowned poet whose 24-year-old son was bound and murdered in March, the protesters marched to remember the victimes and to demand President Felipe Calderon remove 50,000 troops stationed across the country since he started his 'war on drugs' in 2006. "We want to give the faces, names, dates and stories of each of the 40,000 victims that this mortifying strategy has left behind," Sicilia told Agence France Presse. The Guardian:
Sicilia's initiative converges with other movements: the Walks Against Death in Ciudad Juárez – protests staged by parents of the children who died in a fire at the ABC nursery, which was caused by the authorities' negligence; the No More Blood campaign, promoted by several cartoonists; the actions by the followers of Benjamín LeBaron – a charismatic figure of the Mormon community who was kidnapped and killed in Chihuahua; and the works undertaken by the priest Alejandro Solalinde in favour of undocumented migrants.
A sorrowful Sicilia summed up in one phrase the feeling of many Mexicans: "Estamos hasta la madre!" (We are all fed up). To express this sense of weariness, the sound of the marches was the furious silence of the participants. "He who keeps silent is ungovernable," Ivan Illich said. Therein rests the force of the demonstration.
Calderon apparently has responded with defiance, and members of his cabinet have defended their efforts and tactics to stop the violence. Video of the protests from Al Jazeera: