<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Cuernavaca March Begins: “It Seems Calderón Didn't Hear Me,” Says Javier Sicilia

Diverse Sectors of the Mexican Public Join the Silent March to the Capital


By Carolina Corral
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

May 5, 2011

May, 5, 2011, 12:00 p.m, Cuernavaca, Mexico: The march has begun! People punctually gathered at the Paloma de la Paz statue. Joined by Julian Le Baron and Patricia Duarte, family members of those who have been murdered, at 7:10 a.m. Javier Sicilia gave a press conference where he urged the citizens:

“We have to go there and we have to be united as citizens and retake our role that requires us to walk acting in what we the citizens want and hope and is the consensus of all.”

He invited them to march in silence—to stop the war and for a just Mexico in peace—for three reasons:

“...Because the pain is so much, our pain is indescribable. Because silence is the place for listening and speech, our world is full of noise and of empty words. Silence is the place where speech is collected and where speech comes out. It is a path of meditation.”

We’re also going to walk in silence to come together. There is too much pain, there are too many demands and right now the only thing we can do is come together to unify these demands and to look for a direction to the country where there is the same silence, its own silence. We’re going to walk like that with a lot of dignity, with a lot of grandeur.”

Slowly, various groups began to walk in the following order, first the family members of the victims, then associations, and then the general public.

The diversity in the attendees suggests that this march isn’t a protest over the death of only one person, or seven, or even the 40,000 deaths that were a product of a call for a war against narco-trafficking which inspired this movement for peace. In this march there is also the memory of Atenco, and the deaths at the ABC daycare center. Patricia Duarte, a mother who lost her son in the fire at the daycare center in Hermosillo due to negligence that caused the deaths of 48 children, said, “Almost two years ago they took away my only son Andrés Alonso and since that day I have vowed and promised that I am going to always fight for justice in this country until my life ends. I am accompanying Javier Sicilia because this is unforgivable…”

This caravan has been joined by many diverse struggles, which includes people whose tragedies have forced them to become social activists. Their family members have been killed in this war against narco-trafficking, as is the case with Chihuahua’s Julian Le Baron, who offered an invitation, “That everyone who listens and sees come together, this is the way to lose fear, together! We need to return dignity to our dead and our nation.” Olga Reyes from Ciudad Juárez, relatives with Susana Chávez and Marisela Escobar, joined the march along with human rights defender and priest Raúl Vera. This morning people in Metlatónoc in the mountains of Guerrero joined.

Groups marching in silence include the Committee Against Femisides, the Movement for Sexual Diversity, and LGBT groups that just yesterday suffered the murder of one of their compañeros in Guerrero.

Attendees include the Abejas de Chiapas, who were the victims of repression in Acteal, the Network of Human Rights Defenders, and Family Members of the Disappeared in Northern Mexico, whose motto is “We will not stop until we find them.” Also walking is COMECOM, a group of young people that is demanding the immediate demilitarization of the country. And it was joined by the cartoonist Rius, who created the graphic campaign of “Enough already! No more blood!”

The large number of journalists speaks to the international importance of this event. People walk in a fresh way, a happy way, an eager way. As they advance the caravan will be joined by those who decided to wake up a little bit later, adding approximately 300 people.

Regarding the declarations of Mexican President Felipe Calderón this morning, in which he held all of the public responsible for the war and asked them for patience, Javier responds, “It seems that when I visited him in in Los Pinos, he couldn’t comprehend such a poorly planned, misdirected war.”

Everyone walked in silence until they reached their first rest stop at 10:15 a.m. The march is not about only one name, or only one cause. It is the accumulation of various tragedies that have gone unpunished. The indignation and the eagerness to have justice is what today moves everyone in dignified silence. Jaiver says, “It is a march for peace, but with justice and dignity. A peace based in violence, based in fear, based in horror, cannot be peace. We are going to walk.”

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America