Yesterday, I came across a story about plans for a march today in Mexico. It touched my soul. Often, I forget or disbelieve that I even have one left.
“We have had it up to here because the corruption of the judicial institutions generates the complicity with crime and the impunity to commit it, because in the middle of that corruption that demonstrates the failure of the State, each citizen of this country has been reduced to what the philosopher Giorgio Agamben called, using a Greek word, “zoe”: an unprotected life, the life of an animal, of a being that can be violated, kidnapped, molested and assassinated with impunity. We have had it up to here because you only have imagination for violence, for weapons, for insults…”
[Pity is, by definition, a feeling of sympathy. I do not pity Sicilia, for it is empathy I feel instead. To see someone put into words a feeling that I feel but cannot express, though I've tried, is something that reaches your soul and affects you. Only those of us who participated in the drug war, us soldiers and victims, truly understand the reality behind Sicilia's words. But his gift as a poet puts the intangible into language, as only an artist can. On so many levels, modern society has become a violent orgy of Predation, Control, and Hatred. Who but a Poet could respond to those things, both abstract and very real with the death of his son....]
Here is the story of an emerging movement, and a personal story. The story of a poet whose son was slain in Mexico's Drug wars last month. Javier Sicilia is his name.
In the time since, he has become a leader in the anti-drug war movement. Today, an estimated 10,000 took to the streets of Mexico at Javier's urging. While so many of us are mired in apathy and political hopelessness, Javier Sicilia has in one month helped galvanize a movement, and TODAY the cowardly president of Mexico, Calderon himself, granted an audience to this Poet and Revolutionary, Javier Sicilia.
Since his son's death, Javier Sicilia has urged Mexicans to take a stand against the violence, generating enough publicity to earn him an audience with Calderon on Wednesday.
Thousands of Mexicans protested the country's raging drug war on Wednesday as dozens of bodies were found in graves near the country's border with the United States.
Demonstrators marched in cities across Mexico, holding signs condemning the wave of killing that has claimed more than 37,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and launched a military-led crackdown against drug cartels.
"We are fed up with this war that nobody asked for," said protester Leticia Ruiz in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, where some businesses have closed because of gunbattles in the streets and rampant extortion by cartel members.
Prosecutors said on Wednesday they discovered 59 bodies in a series of graves in the northern state of Tamaulipas, not far from a ranch where 72 Central and South Americans were executed late last year by drug gangs preying on migrants traveling north through Mexico
Renowned as a peaceful colonial-era jewel south of Mexico City where young couples go to marry, Cuernavaca became a hotbed of protests after the son of a leading poet and author was discovered killed there last month.
Police there found the bodies of 24-year-old Juan Francisco Sicilia and several of his friends in a car, along with a menacing message from drug cartels.
Yesterday, Javier Sicilia released this message to the citizens and governments of both Mexico and the USA:
....narco-trafficking has existed for a long time in our country. It is part of our life. However, since the war was unleashed as a means to exterminate it, the US, which is the grand consumer of these toxic substances, has not done anything to support us.
“The weapons that are arming organized crime and are killing our kids, our soldiers, our police, come from the US and they are not doing anything to stop them. These guns are maybe worse than any kind of drug, they are powerful, terrible and widespread,” said Sicilia.
He asked that “if the US doesn’t prosecute and put a stop to its arms industry – a legalized horror – why should we prosecute the producers of the drugs?”
Recently, dailykos recommended a diary about howthe ATF was allowing assault weapons from gun shows/shops in America to go across the border. One of those weapons was traced to a murdered Border Patrol agent. So, it is obvious that Sicilia's words are quite truthful.
Here is an open letter from Monday that Sicilia penned, which includes the paragraph quoted at intro to this diary:
There is no life, Albert Camus wrote, without persuasion and without peace, and the history of Mexico today only knows intimidation, suffering, distrust and the fear that one day another son or daughter of another family will be debased and massacred. You only know what you are ask us, that death, as is already happening today, becomes an affair of statistics and administration and which we should all get used to it.
Because we do not want this, next Wednesday we will go out into the street: because we do not want one more child, one more son, assassinated, the citizen networks of Morelos are calling for national citizen unity that we must maintain alive to break the fear and isolation that the incapacity of you, “señores” politicians, and the cruelty of you, “señores” criminals, want us to put in our bodies and souls.
I remember, in this sense, some verses by Bertholt Brecht, when the horror of Nazism, which is to say, the horror of the installation of crime in the daily life of a nation, appeared: “One day they came for the blacks, and I said nothing. Another day they came for the Jews, and I said nothing. One day they came for me (or for a son of mine) and I had nothing to say.” Today, after so many crimes supported, when the destroyed body of my son and his friends has brought the citizenry to mobilize anew, and in the media we must speak with our bodies, with our walk, with our cry of indignation, so that those verses of Brecht are not made a reality in our country.
Additionally, I opine that we must return dignity to this nation.
Meanwhile, we learn that Wells Fargo/ Wachovia will walk away with a slap on the wrist for laundering drug money. Which isn't even news: the story about Bank of America, Wachovia, and others laundering drug money actually broke last year.
Their hope, as usual, is that the ebb and flow of news cycles will wash all of this away.
Now, please move along.....nothing to see here.
maybe the update will post later, in the meantime:
“The military should not be in the streets,” Fox said. “It is not prepared to carry out police functions, probably because it is not prepared to profoundly respect human-rights processes.”
Asked if he was challenging Calderón, Fox said: “I am not talking about President Calderón, nor am I going to. I am going to speak about the strategies that are being followed and which I believe could be improved considerably.”
Fox is expected to speak Thursday afternoon at the University of San Diego, at the invitation of the Trans-Border Institute and the Center for Community Service-Learning. He was originally scheduled to give a lecture at Point Loma Nazarene University, but the invitation was rescinded due to his views on drug legalization.
“The flow of drugs is not going to be detained. It’s like sex, like alcohol, like cigarettes, like abortion,” Fox said Wednesday. “It’s like marriage of people of the same sex. Life is changing, prohibitions are crumbling and this seems to be the last frontier of prohibitions.”