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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Olympic Flame in Brazil for a 90-Day Relay

    Flame has arrived in Brazil’s capital for 90-day relay around the country before reaching the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for opening of Games on August 5

    Ex-Mexican Foreign Minister Nominated as UN Climate Chief

    Patricia Espinosa, who works as Mexico's ambassador to Germany, won high marks for presiding at annual UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010 when she was foreign minister

    Latin America Eyes Volcanoes to Fire Up Clean Development

    Mexico, Costa Rica aim to build on their position as Latin America's leading producers of geothermal power to help meet challenges they face of curbing planet-warming emissions, making their energy supplies secure

    Video Media Monitors Report Decline in Global Press Freedom

    A new report from Freedom House scoring 199 countries and territories shows global press freedom has fallen to its lowest point in more than a decade

    Video US: Journalists Around the World Never in More Peril

    State Department draws attention to detentions, alleged human rights abuses against journalists that it has previously identified as being 'censored, attacked, threatened, imprisoned, or otherwise oppressed because of their reporting'

    Key Findings of Freedom of the Press Report

    Annual Freedom of the Press report on media independence around world assesses degree of print, broadcast and digital media freedom in 199 countries and territories