Crime and Violence

Javier Sicilia Visits Washington D.C.

10/28/11 – Poet and activist Javier Sicilia visited Washington D.C. on October 27, in order to participate in a forum on his peace movement in Mexico. Invited by the Institute of Mexico in the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Sicilia discussed the release of his new book, Estamos Hasta la Madre, and his thoughts on what can be done about the drug related violence in Mexico. He hoped by visiting the United States and participating in the forum, he would give voice to the victims in Mexico. Sicilia also spoke in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), based in D.C.

During his talks, Sicilia strongly criticized both President Calderón and the U.S. government. Sicilia warned authorities on both sides, asking them to take responsibility for their part in the drug war. Although Sicilia reassured that he has no personal issues with Calderón, he vowed to never stop criticising his politics and policies. According to CNN Mexico, he accused Calderón of “opening sewers full of garbage that flowed and flooded society” and charged the president with being responsible for making those involved in drug violence face justice, pay for their crimes, and demand justice. Sicilia believes that this has not yet been accomplished as 98% of the drug related deaths in Mexico have gone unresolved. For Sicilia, “justice is the exception” in Mexico. He also pointed the finger at the United States, claiming that the United States imposed the ongoing drug war on Mexico, and that the U.S. legal sale of weapons is immoral and indecent. He urged the North American conference attenders to pressure the U.S. government to maintain tighter controls on the arms market as guns sold across the border often lead to deaths in Mexico.

When presenting in front of the IACHR, Sicilia argued with regards to those involved in criminal activity, “they can kill us and they can kidnap us given the atrocious level of insecurity. They can assassinate us and our deaths will go unpunished.” Sicilia suggested that continued disappearances in Mexico are a result of inaction and inefficiency of the government and that “impunity is the norm”. Felipe Zamora, undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Mexico, denied these allegations and pointed to the work of various institutions in place to combat disappearances.

Sicilia will be visiting Los Angeles, California on the November 3 and 4, 2011, to participate in the “Drug Reform Conference” where they will discuss regional control of the drug market, the role of youth, and suggestions arising from social movements regarding drug policy.


“Sicilia Lleva su Movimiento a EU; Visitará Washington y Los Ángeles.” El Proceso. October 25, 2011.

“Denuncia Sicilia ante la CIDH Corrupción e Impunidad en México.” Milenio. October 27, 2011.

Torre, Wilbert. “Javier Sicilia en EU: “Calderón Tendrá que Pagar por los Miles de Muertos.” CNN México. October 27, 2011.

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