Thousands marched in cities across Mexico April 6 to call for an end to drug-related violence after the slaying of the son of poet Javier Sicilia. Juan Francisco Sicilia, 24, five other men and a woman were found dead March 28 in a car in Cuernavaca, Morelos. They had been missing for a day. The bodies bore signs of torture and were accompanied by a note signed by the Gulf Cartel, authorities said. Press reports said the message accused the victims of having called in tips to a government hot line. Several thousand joined the demonstration in downtown Mexico City, chanting “No More Blood!” and “Not One More!” A similar number marched through Cuernavaca.
More than 35,000 people have been killed since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderón declared an all-out war against the drug cartels. Sicilia met with Calderón hours before the marches, but also released a public statement harshly critical of the government. The statement was pointedly addressed to both “politicians” and “criminals,” accusing both of not valuing human life. Sicilia stated that Mexicans “must return dignity to this nation.” (LAT, April 7; Narco News, April 4)