Mexicans go out to protest against violence and the drug war

Calderón asesino de jóvenes

"Calderón murderer of young people"


Thousands of Mexicans in more then 30 cities throughout the country went out to the streets on Wednesday afternoon to demonstrate against the violence that has stirred up since the Mexican government offensive to fight the drug cartels and that has claimed in four years more then 35,000 lives.


The nationwide protest was called by the Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, after his son Juan Francisco, 24, was murdered along with four close friends on March 28th in the city of Cuernavaca, 90 kilometers south of Mexico City. Later, police also found the bodies of two close relatives of one of Sicilia’s slain friend.


Todos los hijos son poesía

Protesters gathered in front of Fine Arts Museum (Palacio de Bellas Artes)


In Mexico City, the protesters gathered in the front entrance of the Fine Arts Museum (Palacio de Bellas Artes), few minutes before 17:00 hrs local time (22:00 GMT) where many began to chant: No More blood!, Out Calderon! and held signs where it read Not one more!


Solidiaridad con marcha Cuernavaca


A man with a loudspeaker standing in the main stairway of the Fine Arts Museum began to criticize and blame the government and its policies for the increasing violence in many parts of the country.


“Fellow citizen we are gathered here to protest the criminal policy of the federal government. We all know that this rotten government has ties with the organized crime. This government has been the worst to run the country. We are fed up that they are killing and slaughtering our young people !” [See video bellow]


Around 17:15 hours (22:15 GMT) the group of protesters began to head out towards the city main square (El Zócalo), shouting chants such as: No More blood, we had enough…! Violence with violence is also a crime…!, They die a whole lot for looking after the Americans…! [See video below]. Other claims made by many protesters is the end of the drug war and urging drugs legalization.


Mass protest in downtown Mexico City


Video shot by the author of this blog


Once in the main square, in front of a small platform Mexican actor, Daniel Gimenez Cacho and Mexican actress, Ofelia Medina read a letter written by the poet and afflicted father, Javier Sicilia, where he demanded that the armed forces should get off the streets and return to the barracks; that the government and politicians in general do their job to restore and assure security and justice for all the Mexicans, and noted, if they can’t, they should resign. He urged to the young people to unite and make use of the social media networks and the Internet, to organized, convoke and go out to the streets, and that they should keep in mind that the youth has always moved mountains and have returned the  hope to humanity, as we have seen it today in other latitudes, and that they should take over the present and decide the fate of the nation that they would like to have.


Veladora de la paz


A number of speaker expressed, as well their views of the state of the country, others read a series of poems. The protest act ended few minutes before 20:00 local time (1:00 GMT).

Here more images of Mexico City's demostration





No Más Sangre

No more blood



Tears and long faces on some of the attendees


Mass protest

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Historically, when the state is unable to manage or alleviate the severe internal problems of the country, an opportunity for drastic change makes itself available. The drug war is essentially a counter insurgency with the ideology being to accumulate wealth and power on the part of the cartels. The PRI has been the overall majority and ruling party (executive, legislative and governorships) since the 1930s and continues in the capacity of the former today. The PAN has been the ruling party for 12 years. Both have presided over the growing drug trade in the country, which spiked in the 1990’s after the collapse of the Medellin and Cali cartels. Today there are simply too many people in Mexico who benefit directly or indirectly from the drug trade (i.e. state security forces, politicians, luxury goods industry , real estate, banking), resulting in at best a half hearted pursuit of the drug war. President Calderon’s strategy of militarization may have worked had it been a short term policy and had these issue been addressed as well as a serious effort made in building up parallel social institutions. However by focusing exclusively on the military aspect of the counter insurgency, Calderon has fallen into the pattern of relying on increasingly harsh measures to deal with the cartels which in turn begets more violence on both sides. This situation creates the opportunity for real change to occur through the ballot box and hence a change in policy. Currently the PDR and allied parties control 23% of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 34% in the Senate and 18% of the governorships. Calderon won the 2006 election by slim .58% of the highly contested vote. While clearly not an elected majority, these parties have the advantage of being able to appeal to the disenfranchised elements in Mexico, some 40%. Like counter insurgency, the key to winning the drug war is in human development and shifting the costs associated with the military approach ($3.2 billion) towards social and economic development or at the very least to be used more efficiently. To win, the state should legalize soft drugs, were it can then stimulate tourism and expand its tax base, and decriminalize the possession of hard drugs. This will remove a major source of income for the cartels and allow the security forces to develop a reliable intelligence network as the individuals will not fear prosecution. Second, the state must begin to focus on geographical regions were it can make decisive victories, mostly in the South. Once secured, security forces can then move to the next region, moving slowly northwards using the US border as a wall to push the cartels up against.
Most of the women now a day are the victims of partner violence. I want to tell to all women who are in trouble that they need to come up with an escape plan. Check this site at it contains a lot of story about violence. Lizella Park

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