Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican poet plans Juarez march as more troops head to border

Sunday, May 15, 2011 |

CNN

A popular Mexican poet who led a massive peace march in the nation's capital last weekend says he's chosen a new battleground for his fight for justice: Ciudad Juarez.

Javier Sicilia said Thursday that he is planning a June 10 protest in the violence-plagued city, which shares a border with El Paso, Texas.

"We must not lose what Juarez symbolizes. ... It is the symbol that the country is torn," said Sicilia, who has become one of the most vocal opponents of Mexico's drug war since his son's killing by suspected cartel members in March.

But Mexico's government has shown no signs of changing its strategy.

On Thursday the country's national security spokesman announced that hundreds of additional troops would be deployed to the border state of Tamaulipas.

National security spokesman Alejandro Poire also told reporters that top federal officials were willing meet with representatives from Sicilia's Network for Peace and Justice. The organization planned the 50-mile (80-kilomter) march that brought tens of thousands of people into Mexico City's central square Sunday.

Demonstrators demanded that government officials sign a national pact that included "demanding an end to the strategy of war," the removal of corruption from all three levels of government in less than six months, and the quick solving of several notable high-profile cases -- including the killing of Sicilia's son.

Sicilia also demanded the resignation of Mexican Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, a key architect of the country's crime-fighting policies. But Poire said Monday that the government supported Garcia, praising his efforts to stamp out corruption in Mexico's police.

Poire announced Thursday that the government would send 500 troops to Tamaulipas, which has seen a spike in violence as drug gangs fight over disputed territory.

An intensifying rivalry "marked by broken alliances and constant revenge" between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas drug gang has caused a significant increase in drug-related deaths in the state, Poire said.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed about 50,000 troops to the nation's trouble spots since he began a crackdown on cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

Since then, Mexican authorities estimate that more than 34,600 people have been killed in drug-related violence.

Sicilia has become one of the loudest critics of Calderon's approach.

"There are good people in the army, but the structures of the institutions are very bad. The police are not carrying out justice," he said at last weekend's march.

Sicilia's 24-year-old son was found dead on March 28, crammed into a car with six other bodies in Cuernavaca. Masking tape was wrapped around the victims' heads, faces, wrists and ankles.

The case has captivated the Mexican public and drawn the attention of some of the country's top leaders.

Authorities believe all seven victims suffocated to death, and they have said members of Mexico's Pacifico Sur cartel are responsible.

On Wednesday Sicilia's attorney said extortion could have been the motive behind the attack.

Attorney Julio Hernandez Barros said confessions from two arrested in the slaying indicated local police may have been among a group that attacked Sicilia's son.

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21 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this guy working for the Cartels?

He doesn't understand priorities. What does he think? That this cartels will stop the killings if Gov't puts its tail between its legs?

He should be encouraging a black hand approach. He should be focused on the bosses - point them out and ask why hasn't government taken care of them?

Anonymous said...

"he's chosen a new battleground for his fight for justice: Ciudad Juarez."

Yeah, good luck with that.

BTW the border is secure so there is nothing to protest in Juarez.

"Is this guy working for the Cartels?"
Defacto he is. He is leading an army of Accidental Guerrillas.

Anonymous said...

What?? Change Strategy? So what is this this new strategy? I understand the DEMANDS but what are his Ideas on how you Achieve these goals. FIRE THE CHIEF Arcitect of the REFORM,I guess Sicilia blames him for his sons death? Calderon needs the support of the people,he has invited Sicilia to meet why has Sicilia not met with the President? IT IS EASY TO CRITICIZE BUT TO BE CONSTRUCTIVE WHAT ALTERNATIVE PLANS/ACTIONS ARE PROPOSED? Mexico now has its own JESSIE JACKSON,poet instead of preacher,qualifications 0. This guy is misguided he should be supporting the govts efforts with marches,rallys,songs,prayer meetings all good P/R but when it comes to going toe to toe with imbeded Narco Terrorist, its best left up to the professionals. Somehow Sicilia needs to wake up and be constructive.

Anonymous said...

Romance, Emotionalism, and we all agree that it is beyond horror to lose a child ,but what background does this man have,what training, what expertise in reforming a country with a ROTTEN HEART. What are the plans?? Many of the Mexicans I know and work with are Macho,tough hard working,not quitters,not weak, any way I look at the comments being made sounds like Sicilia is asking the Fed. govt of Mexico to withdraw from the citys and States. Who (other than criminals) in their right mind could support such a idea ? God Bless Calderon he is holding the course , in the face of critics,but he is Right On,if Mexico citizens will unite behind their President Mexican life could be substantially improved in the long run.I have a dog in the fight,and travel in Coahuila each month,nothing would please me more than for Mexico to emerge as a STABLE FUNCTIUNING STATE.

Anonymous said...

This makes me sad. He is grieving for his son. He is trying to fill a hole in his heart the best he can. If he helps just one person in this war he has done a good thing. He is a man of words and he is learning to be a man of action. All in the memory of his son. Let him do his thing!! I think its amazing and he will be go down in history for his passion.

Anonymous said...

drug testing and polygraphs should be taken every month for all 3 levels of government, and bare arms to the good people of mexico and clean the towns one by one. burn all the marijana fields.
incorporate the death penalty pay people a livable wage so they don't have to go to life of crime to feed their families.

Anonymous said...

Javier Sicilia understands the hypocrisy of the war on drugs. He is smart enough to know that the mexican people will always lose from American drug policy. People have used drugs for much longer than America has been around, and will continue to do so forever. To make them illegal just opens up a huge black market that inevitably will produce violence. With as much money as is to be made with drugs illegal, groups will always cut throats to stay on top. There is no way to separate the war on drugs from a war on people, and the mexican people are suffering from our war.

Aaron H

Garrobo said...

I don't think he will go down in any history that most people will care to recall or be able to. He is a blip on the radar. Yes, a grieving father, but he is the type to drown the lifeguard trying to save himself. This is why life guard bouys are at the end of ropes... gotta keep the crazies at a distance. He is a right brained artist. Unfortunately this drug war requires more left brained strategists. He should get together with the mural painters and have an artistic gangbang. Happy ending.

Anonymous said...

Hope he's prepared. I'm not at all sure he is doing anything besides making himself feel useful and gaining attention while waiting for his pain to subside from staying busy. He could just be an instigating more violence as simply going to a drug rehab. clinic in La Cuidad Juarez sparks a shootout (fact).

Anonymous said...

Cheezus all they do out there is fucking marches. Will the people actually try supporting the government for once I mean does anyone really have a better idea than fight the cartels?

Ardent said...

Caldron doesn't fight the cartels though. He just stirs them up like a swarm of killer bees. It helps him try to justify the undemocratic nature of the PAN though, which is his political party of the corrupt and the corrupted economic and social elites of Mexico.

'Cheezus all they do out there is fucking marches. Will the people actually try supporting the government for once I mean does anyone really have a better idea than fight the cartels?'

To do away with drug trafficking, a leader must do more than just take a policing and military view of the problem. Caldron and his US government backers don't. In fact, they are the problem much more than even the cartels alone are. They are the foundation stones of economic injustice that breeds criminality of all sorts.

Anonymous said...

Regardless if his idea may be flawed.
I give him credit for having the courage to protest against the monstronsity that is mexico's corrupt politicians and the blood thirsty cartels.
Both the politicians and cartels have a history of killing people with such vocal opposition.

Anonymous said...

The army presence has been increasing for some time now. So has the death toll. The drug war is no accident. Corruption on both sides of the border in business and in government is rampant. True, what the poet is doing is dangerous but people are dying and dying with no end in sight. People who speak out are killed. This poet may die soon. Surely he must know this. He is a brave man.

Anonymous said...

The man is a media creation. A distraction to the anarchy and severed heads. His son is no more relevant than the thousands of others. His death has not turned the tide of Mexican opinion and awoken a nation to inwardly look upon itself to confront its fears. He is a mortally wounded animal whose grief has become a media circus. If the media didn't pay him attention, then he would go away. Compared to the slaughter houses of Northern Mexico, he is an unfortunate irrelevance, and a side story to the war, like a minor tributary in the slow flowing waters of the mighty amazon.

The man is relevant in the metaphysical only. He is a symbol of the helplessness that Mexicans feel. He represents their desire for it all to go away. A panicked, last desperate cry to be anywhere than where they are right now, to pretend it is not happening, and to go back to how it was before. But like his son, that possibility is dead. It is sad, and painful to watch. They have the courage to speak out, but they don't know what to speak about. It is all too overwhelming, so much so that they see no other solution than to pretend that they can turn the clocks back.

It is that last fact, in and of itself, which represents the real hopelessness everyone feels when they consider Mexico's future.

Which is why the Mexican media seem to be searching for a voice, and yet all they find are screams.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact that this man is Relevant, makes your opinion Irrelevant Anonimous!
and i mean Anonimous, as in nobody.

Ardent said...

One gets the impression that it is total anathema to any and all Anglo US Right Wingers the idea of anybody rebelling against any and all of these deadly corrupted governments and militaries, most especially those backed by the Pentagon? Instead, we are all to just march behind our 'leaders' and not question them in anything. They are the ultimate neo- stormtroopers, these not so free thinkers of the American Right Wing with their supposed wisdom they gush out to others always...

'Follow Orders , Now. Yuh Hear? Yuh a nobody!'

'His son is no more relevant than the thousands of others. His death has not turned the tide of Mexican opinion and awoken a nation to inwardly look upon itself to confront its fears. He is a mortally wounded animal whose grief has become a media circus. If the media didn't pay him attention, then he would go away.'

This Anonymous US Right Winger just drips his venomous contempt out in his every spoken word against Mexicans, protesters, and Javier Sicilia himself. Sicilia is supposwedly a nobody since he's not part of the monied class that these US Right Wingers think are the only supposedly worthy people other than themselves.

Just who are supposedly these phony Right Wing big shots, though, who write this sort of thinly veiled racist venom daily on BB? Who are they to lecture others about their supposed low social status, etc.?

The AnonyMoe here writes as if he is some grand psychoanalyst, but in reality it's all pop off your mouth Right Winger diatribe. Listen to this jibberish talking dude as if he has the entire Mexican population on his psycho couch and tries to get them to confront their 'fears' that they are what???? supposedly inferior to the great Anglo society (himself???) in the Great North? Oh Brother!

What trash, Jack. Nothing 'metaphysical' (Oh Big Word of yours, AnonyMoe!) about it in all this bs... your bs... at all It's just plain material trash. Have you ever even been to Mexico other than to a border town or two?

'It is that last fact, in and of itself, which represents the real hopelessness everyone feels when they consider Mexico's future.'

Border Town Anglo gutter talk, is all I hear from this guy.... 'everyone' thinks low of Mexico and blah, blah, blah...

Uh, Grand Sir... when I hear so many ditto-brained US Anglo voices such as your own, I think about the utter hopelessness of the US's future, not Mexico's. The US seemingly has not grown a stitch since the days of the KLan and post Civil War. How pathetic! A million of you Rush LimBug followers and devotees altogether aren't worth a booger in Javier's nose.

Anonymous said...

I have commented on various stories over the last few months, yet not one of my comments has ever shown up on the comment pages, whay is that????????? My comments are always on topic, never slanderous, always appropriate and never abusive in nature. Yet you do not let my comments be posted. Is this your form of censorship?

Anonymous said...

@May 17, 2011 7:55 PM

Maybe it violated the following:

1.) Any comment that gets personal with attacks using offensive languare,
2.) Racially motivated content that has nothing to do with topic and is hateful toward a particular group.
3.) Any comment that incites and is inflamatory just for the sake of it.
4.) Comments that do not add anything to a topic and are not contructive, cluttering the comment section unnecessarily

Just a thought!!!

Anonymous said...

@Ardent,

I assume you will be taking part in this protest march?

Ardent said...

Where I live the Left is so entirely asleep (if not dead...) that it is hard to get 3 people out on a corner holding up a sign or two, let alone protest against a war that most US know-nothing citizens know nothing about. But thanks for inviting me, Anonymous. You are a true gentleman.

Anonymous said...

I'm Mexican, and i'm sure nobody pays attention to Sicilia but the mariguana smoking hippies, such has himself.

He doesn't seem to notice that without the Army, Navy and Federal Police Forces we are alone against the cartels

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