Tag Archives: Javier Sicilia

mexican cease-fire on christmas

Javier Sicilia is a Mexican poet that I’ve posted about before. He’s the guy that instigated an activist movement to work towards obtaining and spreading the message of peace (the Movement of Peace with Justice and Dignity) in Mexico ever since the Pacifico Sur cartel shooting and murdering of his son back in March.

Sicilia attended an international book fair this past weekend in Guadalajara and asked that the cartels and the Mexican government pause and have “a cease-fire” moment on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the 24th and 25th. He requests that these two entities have this break not only for the sake of Christmas and the meaning behind it, but also so they may “reflect on what they are doing, what they are doing to the country.”

He went on to say, “I ask for this truce as a momentary pause, not just in honor of Christmas, but to think about the harm we’re doing to ourselves and what those guilty of murder and corruption are doing to themselves, and the damage done by authorities who do not fulfill their obligations,” Sicilia said.   In the event, he called for all the people there take a minute of silence to commemorate all of those whom have died in the drug war and those who continue to die. Right after that is when he asked for the days of cease-fire.

Sicilia and the many other authors and writers that were with him were crying out about the irresponsibility of the government.   Writer Alejandro Rosas said something that Mexico must be very worried about is “a very incipient, very weak democracy,” and targeted the issue of the 2012 presidential elections in Mexico.   Rosas believes that the end of the world would come if the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) came back into power. This comment brought a large applause from the audience.   Along with the applause coming from this political attack, came the cheers from the attacks and criticisms targeted at President Calderon who initiated the entire all out war against the cartels and who as a result, in many people’s opinions, advanced/widened the violence in Mexico.

Writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II demanded that those at fault for the situation and contributing to Mexico’s “falling to pieces” should be identified.   He also requested that the population attempt to unify “the national discontent into a movement that will remove from power those who now hold it.”

I like that this event happened because it’s inspiring. It’s a group of authors and writers proclaiming peace and declaring something be done and have some ideas about what could be done. It’s not a group of politicians making things up or saying what the people want to hear and then do nothing about it, or add to the violence. What these writers want to do is take away from the violence and promote peace. They are fully aware that an all-out war is not going to contribute to the peace they are trying to spread. There are good people out there trying to do good things, if only people would listen. I’m curious to see if Sicilia’s request will be fulfilled…if the violence will stop for those two Christmas days. At this point all one can do about the situation is continue to spread peace, and hope that things will somehow get better. As well as Mexicans taking a good look at the politicians’ issues and figuring out who may have the best plan to end this headstrong battle.

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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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