By Paco Gómez
“If we were fed up a year ago, today we are fed up in a more profound and brutal way,” said Javier Sicilia in Cuernavaca at the March 28 commemoration of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity's first anniversary.
He spoke firmly and asked citizens to leave their voting ballots blank in the upcoming July elections. He spoke in front of a small but committed audience that had carried out a day full of symbolic acts, performances and protest.
The MPJD was born from death. It was Sicilia’s reaction to the appearance of his murdered son Juan Francisco’s body and those of other six friends, with a poetic and emotive letter one year ago, exactly on the 28th of March. His words and steps inspired a great national march that arrived at the Zócalo in Mexico City the following May.
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How is Mexico a year after the MPJD traveled 11,000 kilometers in marches, after giving a face to the victims of the drug war and after getting to speak with the government to end the so-called drug war taken by the president Felipe Calderon and supported by Washington?
“Crime continues murdering, kidnapping, disappearing people in the most vile, cruel and demonic ways. They are balkanizing the country and the State, is now penetrated, corrupted, broken, and unjust. It is starting to despise, criminalize and erase victims…” said Sicilia.
He spoke at the end of the event when a lot of voices – and hearts- were broken. They had earlier unveiled a memorial plaque of the seven killed on the 28th of March. Those seven are added to the 60,000 lives that the drug war has claimed in this last six years, even though two days ago US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, quoted the violent hemorrhage in Mexico at 150,000 dead. Sicilia repeated to the audience that the victims will not take much more of this state of things and that the movement’s cry of “We are fed up!” is still relevant.
“We are still fed up of you criminals, because of your imbecility, your miserable lust for money and power. They are still being murdered, humiliated, full of horror and shame”.
Advocacy against deafness
The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity has encountered, as detailed by Sicilia, the “stupidity and deafness of politicians.” He complained that one of the most important successes of the movement has been left half finished because “the General Prosecutor Victims Office has not been given the money or infrastructure that the pain and national emergency of the nation we live in requires.” Sicilia warned that the Federal Congress undermines the full extent of the Law for Human and Citizen Safety. He denounced, “neither government or party agendas include the reality of the country.”
He went further: “Their candidates are far from fit to represent us, and they use political life to enrich themselves and ignore the country’s disgraces, continuing to usurp the nation. They have constructed what we least wanted: shameful elections, a shame that has made and will continue to deepen the mass graves where the life of the country is being buried. You only represent, besides the crime, the disgrace and rape of the country.”
If the “blank vote” campaign takes form from Sicilia’s words, so will the MPJD’s next steps. First, a national dialogue to build a national “agenda of peace.” Then, in June, the confrontation of the presidential candidates to commit to this agenda. Lastly, a caravan to the south of the United States because it is from this country that arms and legal and illegal funds comes to Mexico.
“We tell North Americans: if you want to keep smoking weed and resist legalizing it, then consume your own weed, not ours. If you want to keep producing weapons, sell them amongst yourselves and use them on yourselves. Because our weed and your guns that find their way illegally into this country are killing our children,” Sicilia said.
These tasks must be accomplished in the midst of media silence, an internal restructuring of the movement and a violent situation that grows and pressures all those involved. Nevertheless, Sicilia left a message of strength and remembered the power of organized citizens:
“We are and always will be stronger than the Lords of Death and all those who have decided to let stupidity and horror reign over everything that is human.”