Poet Javier Sicilia (c), who heads the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, and members of several social organizations protest on the steps of the Angel of Independence monument in the capital to demand more security for human rights defenders in Mexico.
The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, a group founded by prominent poet Javier Sicilia, recalled the more than 10,000 people who have gone missing amid the drug war that has claimed 50,000 lives in Mexico over the last five years.
In a ceremony staged at the foot of the capital's Angel of Independence monument, Sicilia said that the Mexican state has committed "a tremendous crime" consisting of "having denied the victims, forgotten them, made them into a numerology that could be 1 or 10,000, it doesn't matter."
Before the event, members of the moment marched along the Paseo de la Reforma and "embalmed" with black cord several of the statues of Mexican heroes to recall the people who have disappeared.
"That is a very serious crime and now the state is starting to compensate and we're beginning to compensate by making the victims visible," said Sicilia at the event.
He noted that the families of all the disappeared "live facing an atrocious abyss because they don't know if they're alive, and if they are, in what condition, and if they're dead they don't know what happened to them and they don't have their bodies."
Whether it be at the hands of criminal organizations or the Mexican authorities, which are involved in some of the cases denounced by the movement, Sicilia said that it is "outrageous that a state cannot know where 10,000 or many more than 10,000 of its citizens are."
At the event, demonstrators recalled several of the movement's activists who have been murdered recently, while the daughters of two environmental campaigners who disappeared on Dec. 6 appealed publicly to their captors to release them alive.
Sicilia founded the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity in April after the brutal murder of his son, Juan Francisco, and six other people in the central state of Morelos by suspected drug-gang members.
The group, which has organized several marches bringing together relatives of victims of violence, is demanding an end to President Felipe Calderon's deployment of tens of thousands of troops to drug-war flashpoints.
The strategy has led to headline-grabbing captures of cartel kingpins, but drug-related violence has skyrocketed and claimed 50,000 lives nationwide during Calderon's tenure, which began in December 2006.