Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Tens of Thousands March in Mexico City

Monday, May 9, 2011 |

The New York Times
By ELISABETH MALKIN

Javier Sicilia, the poet who has become an unlikely hero in a movement calling for an end to Mexico’s drug war, asked for five minutes of silence at the end of a Sunday rally in this city’s giant central plaza.


The march against gang violence in Mexico City on Sunday.

The silence was to honor the dead — more than 35,000 since President Felipe Calderón sent the military to fight drug cartels four and a half years ago.

Among the dead is Mr. Sicilia’s son, killed seven weeks ago in the colonial city of Cuernavaca.

Since then, Mr. Sicilia’s grief and fury have resonated with many Mexicans who believe they have become the ignored victims in a battle between organized crime on one side and soldiers and the police on the other.

At the rally Sunday, Mr. Sicilia called on the government to change its strategy in the war, calling first for the resignation of Genaro García Luna, the director of public security and an architect of Mr. Calderón’s battle against the drug gangs. “We want to hear a message from the president of the republic that with this resignation, yes, he has heard us,” Mr. Sicilia said.

The city police estimated that as many as 150,000 people took part in the march, although the number of people who finally gathered in the plaza late Sunday afternoon to hear Mr. Sicilia and other grieving families speak, seemed considerably smaller.

Since Mr. Calderón began his crackdown, sending soldiers to patrol large parts of northern and western Mexico, the government has argued that the dead are almost all members of rival gangs killed as drug cartels fight over territory and smuggling routes to the United States.

But the violence continues to increase and the toll of innocent victims has mounted as drug gangs have become more ruthless. Authorities have failed to check the killings because of a what even the government admits is a combination of corruption, fear and inefficiency.

New horrors have been revealed in the past few weeks. Mr. Sicilia’s son was found dead along with six other people, supposedly killed by a drug cartel. Then, soldiers found mass graves in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas that held 183 bodies, many believed to be people kidnapped from public buses on their way to the border. Meanwhile, the authorities have pulled 168 other bodies from pits in the central state of Durango.

The government has remained on the defensive, presenting the choice as one between either backing down and letting organized crime take hold, or continuing the fight along the same lines.

On Thursday, as Mr. Sicilia set on his march from his hometown, Cuernavaca, Mr. Calderón insisted that he would not pull the military from the streets, as many Mexicans have asked. “We are right, we have the law and we have the strength, we will win,” he said.



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8 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

This dude is a commie bastard

Anonymous said...

BUGGGS!! PLEASE tag my post for future reference. Next years presidential run in Mexico is being inundated with the organizsed crime news. Very little is talked about the next election. Mexico will succumb to communism. Partido Comunista Mexicano (PCM) has been working up a candidate. Not sure if the PCM will be reinstituted as it was dissolved in 1981-2? Suppusedly there is talk in the political arena that one of the next presidential candidates will have socialist idealogies. In the end it is rumored Mexico will be another Cuba. Mexico will be under communist government and the governemnt will run all of the drug trade.

Anonymous said...

We're practically a communist country too. Our education books from elementary to university level are filled with communist, marxist ideology, we have a marxist president and a marxist cabinet, political freedom is suppressed in the mainstream media, an unconstitutional healthcare reform.

Ardent said...

Egads, where do all these neo-fascist rants coming from? Javier Sicilia's son is killed so he gets labeled a 'communist bastard' by silly USA Anonymous guy 10:53 am simply because Sicilia disagrees with US puppet, Calderon's tagging along with the US militarization of his own country....

Then USA silly BB reader guy #2 comes along and wants Buggs to think that Mexico is a commie country in the making.... lol... Sure it is NOT!!!!!!!

Then USA silly Anonymous guy #3 assures all the neo fascist crowd congregating at BB that the US is 'practically a communist country'???? ...probably immediately before he heads on Mobil Exxon gas to some big box store or another to shop at. Communist USA???... Comedy is Central to these folk.

There is no indicator at all that any of these marchers are even Leftists most of them, let alone communists. So why do all the US dunces see red and pink about a march against more and more war? To be against war hardly makes one a commie. Most pro peace people are not.

These type of folk make us just scratch our head in total amazement at US culture, that produces these neo fascists in such droves.

Anonymous said...

No, we don't live in a Marxist country, and no there is no communism in school books. I live in the US, and you guys are complete morons if you believe that shit. For Christ sake. Try reading a book or a newspaper once in a while instead of sleeping under one.

'lito'brito said...

javer is an idiot...he was on NPR blaming the USA for Mexicos legendary lawlessness...listening to the guy really turned me off...

Ardent said...

I think that this was merely your own Right Wing US mindset's perception of all that the man was saying, Brito. Any foreigner speaking anything like the truth would have turned a USA First sort of guy like you off.

So just keep on closing your ears as you have done all your life. You can have pride in the fact knowing that you are truly hopeless. A true unreachable!

Anonymous said...

The reason why the drug lords are powerful in Mexico is because of "mordida". This is only possible because of the increasingly weak leadership that plagues northern Mexico. Mexico needs a Mestizo that is honest, ambitious, goal driven, and ready to lead

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