News / Americas

Mexicans March to Protest Drug Violence

Mexican poet Javier Sicilia (file photo)
Mexican poet Javier Sicilia (file photo)
Cindy Lavanderos

Thousands of demonstrators marched in Mexico City and other places across the country and abroad Wednesday to protest violence that has claimed the lives of more than 35,000 people since President Calderón's crackdown on organized crime began four years ago.

Chanting "no more blood," protesters carrying signs, flowers, and candles gathered in the capital's main plaza in support of Mexican poet Javier Sicilia and the families of thousands of victims of the country's brutal drug war.

Sicilia's son and six others were tortured and murdered last week in Cuernavaca, a popular weekend vacation spot near Mexico City

It was the first national protest against Calderón's war against organized crime, a fight that more and more people believe the president is losing.  In a recent poll in El Universal, 63 percent said they thought Calderón's war strategy had failed.

At Wednesday's march, people of different ages and walks of life expressed their anger and frustration at the government's anti-drug efforts.

Visual artist Miguel Angel Corona said he was fed up with the administration's inability to resolve the increasing violence and impunity that had become "a national tragedy."

He added that the number of deaths in the drug war was greater than in those countries in Northern Africa where people were fighting to remove long-standing dictatorships.

Theatrical student Marina Pineda called for "more theater, and fewer bullets."  She also expressed her indignation at the violence.

She pointed out that although this was not a huge demonstration, similar protests were also taking place in 33 cities across the country and 14 others outside Mexico.

In Cuernavaca, in the state of Morelos, where the bodies of Javier Sicilia's 24-year-old son and six others were found in a car along a highway on March 28, there have been daily marches to protest the assassination and the increased violence in the state.

Sicilia, who met with President Calderón for two hours prior to the march, later told protesters in Cuernavaca that he would stage a sit-in protest in the city's main plaza for a week.  

He said if those responsible for the murders are not found by April 13, he would call a march to Mexico City to demand the resignation of Morelos State Governor Marco Adame.

Since the December 2009 shooting death of drug kingpin Arturo Beltrán Leyva in Cuernavaca and the arrest of Edgar Valdez Villarreal in August 2010, cartels have been engaged in a bloody battle for control of the trafficking route in Morelos state.  In the first three months of this year there have been 80 killings in Morelos, five times more than the same period last year.  Few, if any, arrests have been made.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

US Judge Orders Argentina, Creditors to Reach Deal

Lawyers for investors who declined to restructure bonds after country defaulted on about $100 billion in 2002 are warned that time is running out to reach a deal, avert fresh default
More

Trial Imminent for Detained Venezuelan Protest Leader Lopez

Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, says outside pressure needed on Venezuelan president to move case forward
More

Sex Workers Seek HIV Prevention

The Lancet publishes new series on HIV
More

Texas Gov. Perry Orders State National Guard to Border

Governor says he took extraordinary measure to help secure the border, his critics say it is a political stunt
More

Cuba Hopes for More Investment as Chinese President Arrives

Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a two-day visit to Cuba on Monday evening
More

Video Shunned by Family, Haitian Orphan Finds Supportive Home

'We deal with [HIV] stigma by ... making life as normal for kids as possible'
More