Poet Javier Sicilia leads peace caravan in Mexico


Javier Sicilia

A poet is speaking out against the drug war in Mexico.

Javier Sicilia, who lost his son to Mexico's violence, led a peace caravan this week to the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

An estimated 40,000 people have been killed as a result of the drug war since Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

His son's body, along with six others, was found in an abandoned car in their hometown of Cuernavaca. There have been recent reports of mass graves found in Mexico in the states of Tamaulipas and Durango. Just this week 21 bodies were found in the state of Michoacan.

"What my son did was give a name and a face to the 40,000 dead,"  Sicilia said in a New York Times story. "My pain gave a face to the pain of other families. I think a country is like a house, and the destruction of someone is the destruction of our families."

As we've seen citizens in the Middle East rise up against corruption and oppression, it is surprising that there isn't more national outrage in Mexico against the violence there. Understandably, people are afraid.

But how many more people have to die?

President Calderon's strategy has been to go after he cartels. But peace activists like Sicilia say that they should go after poverty in Mexico instead. That could keep people from falling into the drug trade.

Sicilia has become an unlikely leader in this movement. Sadly, he said that after his son died he would no longer be able to write poetry.

This was his last poem.

The world is not worthy of words
they have been suffocated from the inside
as they suffocated you, as they tore apart your lungs ...
the pain does not leave me
all that remains is a world
through the silence of the righteous,
only through your silence and my silence, Juanelo.

Poetry is dead for him now.

We will miss Sicilia's poetry. But his voice has not been silenced.


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  • The War on Drugs failed Billions of dollars ago! This money could have been used for outreach programs to clean up the bad end of drug abuse by providing free HIV testing, free rehab, and clean needles. Harmless drugs like marijuana could be legalized to help boost our damaged economy. Cannabis can provide hemp for countless natural recourses and the tax revenue from sales alone would pull every state in our country out of the red! Vote Teapot, PASS IT, and legalize it. Voice you opinion with the movement and check out my pro-cannabis art at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/vote-teapot-2011.html

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