Mexico’s drug-related violence has once again grabbed headlines after authorities uncovered at least 116 bodies in a series of mass graves. Seventeen suspects possibly linked to the Zetas drug gang were arrested for the graves in Tamaulipas, the same Mexican state where the corpses of 72 Latin American migrants where found last August.
Though the situation in Mexico appears dire, several individuals have given hope that civil society will not idly sit by and do nothing in the face of violence. One of these people is poet and journalist Javier Sicilia whose son, Juan Francisco, was found dead last month along with six other victims in Morelos state. His death led to protests nationwide last week where an estimated tens of thousands of Mexicans repudiated the country’s violence.
Sicilia himself has become the face of protest against violence and has been outspoken in seeking justice for the death of his son. In a letter penned in Proceso magazine, Sicilia blasted the government for their “badly proposed, badly made, badly led war” against drug gangs as well as the criminals whom he compared to “miserable Nazi sonderkommandos who kill children, boys, girls, women men and elders without any human sense.” Even though Sicilia’s pressure influenced the removal of Morelos’ public safety secretary, he continues to criticize governor Marco Adame for "playing dumb" when it came to security.
In the below video from BBC Mundo, Sicilia did not shy away from critiquing President Felipe Calderon for his “stupid war” against drug gangs that has led to over 35,000 deaths since he came into power four years ago. He explained that his campaign comes from his “moral conviction” to represent the thousands of sons who have died and who will be killed as a result of Mexican violence. Sicilia’s view is one that is shared by a Mexican society demanding greater accountability from officials and repudiation against criminal organizations.
Video Source – BBC Mundo
Online Sources- LAHT, Guanabee, The Latin Americanist, CNN, The Guardian