Friday, May 6, 2011

Mexicans march on Cinco de Mayo

For some, Cinco de Mayo is an excuse for revelry but several hundred Mexicans took advantage of the holiday to march against the country’s drug-related violence:

As the above video showed one of the key figures in the march was Javier Sicilia, a poet turned anti-violence activist after his son was murdered roughly six weeks ago. “We cannot understand why (Mexican president Felipe Calderon) does not understand why the criminals are out there. If they are out there, it is because the institutions and the state are co-opted," Sicilia said at the start of the silent march yesterday.

The protest started in the central Mexican city of Cuernavaca and is scheduled to end on Sunday with a rally in Mexico City. On that day several solidarity protests are planned to take place in other Mexican cities as well as north of the border in New York, California, and Texas.

Protest organizers hope that others will join them in the fifty-six mile trek to the Mexican capital city. Among those joining the march are families of victims caught in the crossfire in the government offensive against drug gangs. Also taking part in the march are parents who are seeking justice for their children killed in a June 2009 nursery school fire.

Despite mounting criticism of his push to combat crime, President Calderon remained defiant in a televised speech that aired on Wednesday night. According to BBC News:
Mr. Calderon rejected the idea that the operation he launched in December 2006, which has seen thousands of troops and extra police deployed against drug gangs, should end.

"On the contrary, we must redouble our efforts because if we stop fighting they will kidnap, rob and kill all over the country."
Calderon’s remarks were supported by senior government official Francisco Blake Mora who earlier today pushed the Mexican legislature to pass a National Security Law.

Video Source – teleSUR via YouTube
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, AlterNet, BBC News, CNN, El Universal, Milenio, Fox News Latino

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