No More Blood!

The image on the left designed by Alejandro Magallanes is the logo for the “No More Blood” campaign.

This image has been utilized everywhere in Mexico, in protests, as graffiti, and anywhere on the streets as a new plan of action encouraging change developed by a group of famous Mexican political cartoonists.

Together these cartoonists are focusing all of their new cartoons towards the bloodshed of the nation, and the creator of this campaign Eduardo Del Rio hoped that the campaign would “change the media discourse on the issue of drug war violence.” Changing the discourse would mean being able to reveal the importance of the severity of this issue in Mexican’s personal lives.  If that’s all people talk about, then that’s all that’s going to be in the minds of the people, which may result in taking action in any way that they are capable of.

The main storyline that the government and police had been broadcasting was that “90 percent of the dead were linked to organized crime. Innocent murder victims were often downplayed as ‘collateral damage’.”

However, back in March, 7 young adults were murdered, one of whom was the son of the famous poet Javier Sicilia. This is when public opinion began to change from it just being “collateral damage.” A week after the death of his son, Sicilia instigated a nationwide protesting movement condemning the drug violence and the government’s methods towards the whole situation.

It’s a sad idea that someone has to die, particularly in this case, a famous poet’s son has to die, before he or anyone else would take any action to start an uprising against this terrorism. Why haven’t they done this before? Perhaps people are afraid, afraid to be silenced by getting killed. But it’s definitely better late than never.

Antonio Helguera explains that sometimes people find it difficult to understand what’s going on in politics, especially if they don’t have knowledge on the history of the subject. So what he’s discovered through his own experience is “that when I opened newspapers, the key to unlocking the messages were the cartoons. If you go by what the newspapers tell you directly, the messages are empty. Cartoons provide the keys to decode these messages.”

He said that the messages they’re trying to implement has nothing to do with making fun of the victims, but that they “focus our ridicule on the creators and promoters of this war. I’m referring to (President) Calderon and the secretaries of the armed forces and marines, the chief of the federal police and all those people. It’s against them.”

The above image is referencing President Calderon’s visit to Standford University in May of 2011. A small aircraft flew over the university whilst he gave a commencement speech carrying a banner with the “No more blood” logo saying “40,000 dead! How many more?” The cartoon portrays Calderon responding something along the lines of “soon they’ll stop harassing me about the 40,000 dead because soon there will be 50,000 dead.”

In connection, José Hernández believes it’s the cartoons that could be the dominant style of education and be the gate to the eye opening alertness that will hopefully lead to a larger result of the “No More Blood” campaign; he asserts “because a society that’s informed and organized is less susceptible to manipulation and abuse.”

Let’s hope that this message can be spread across the border to the United States as well. The more people that know about it, the more we can do to help stop the continuation of these murders. I think it’d be a great idea if they started some kind of non-profit organization for this, perhaps create merchandise such as t-shirts and other items that people could purchase in support in order to spread the message further and educate others on the subject. I’m planning on creating my own t-shirt with the logo. It’s such a unique logo, it’d spark the interest of people to ask me about it, which I then could educate them about the issue, and perhaps even encourage them to do the same as me and start a ripple effect. We could start a “No More Blood” revolution!

Article Source: http://www.pri.org/stories/arts-entertainment/arts/cartoonists-fight-bloodshed-in-mexican-drug-war6002.html

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