Beginning on May 5, 2011, Javier Sicilia, a Mexican poet whose son was murdered on March 28, led a march from Cuernavaca to the Federal District to demand an end to violence in the country. The march culminated with activities in Mexico City on May 8. Simultaneous demonstrations occurred in other parts of the country as well as cities outside of Mexico. Protesters included members of diverse sectors of civil society, human rights defenders, intellectuals, youth, women’s organizations, religious and business leaders, among others. We, as organizations that promote and defend human rights, add our support to the anti-violence protests in Mexico.
The country’s current situation shows that there are many reasons to protest. Since 2006, more than 36,000 people have died as a result of the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico; the vast majority of these deaths have not been investigated and the perpetrators walk free. The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reports that more than 5,000 people have been disappeared since 2006, a number 300% higher than the number of people disappeared during the 1970s “Dirty War.” Mass graves with hundreds of bodies are being discovered in the north of the country. Thousands of migrants in transit have been robbed, kidnapped, extorted, and killed. Enough is enough.
The protests express society’s frustration with the high levels of violence, and they demand an end to the bloodshed and impunity. We lament the death of the thousands of people that have been victims of the violence in Mexico, and we add our voices to those of all Mexicans who demand an end to violence and impunity and who fight for peace and respect for human rights.
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Latin American Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF)
Video by Kristel Mucino.