11/11/11 – Recent protests held in Ciudad Juárez against the continually escalating violence in Mexico have been stifled by security forces this past week. Protestors have been placing signs of crosses on buildings, traffic signs, and in other public spaces that are meant to symbolize the deaths that have taken place in Mexico in recent years. With more than 40,000 killings nationwide in Mexico since President Felipe Calderón took office in 2006 and began his militarized strategy to combat drug trafficking and to quell narco-related violence, Ciudad Juárez has become the so-called ‘murder capital of the world’ as violence has particularly escalated in this region. According to Digital ABC, Juárez protesters were chanting “Grief is not enough, time for courage and resistance” as they demanded peace in their city and country.
Since the start of the protests, 26 people have been arrested in two separate occasions, 13 of which were detained in front of the Scotia bank, the rest of which were detained in front of College Station in Aldama. Protestors were painting the outside walls of the Scotia Bank and placing crosses around the building. Bank officials filled a complaint with the military, which led to troops being sent to the scene to subdue protestors. Those who were more combative with military officials were arrested, among those being two minors, ten students, two photojournalists, and one of the “Assembly against Militarization” activist leaders, Yeffim Fong (Carlos Fong, known as Gero Fong), who was arrested for disarming a police officer and pointing the weapon at the security force. All those taken into custody, including Fong, were released at 8pm on Wednesday, November 9 on bail of 500 pesos each. Despite their release, investigations into the incident have begun.
According to El Mexicano, Fong has warned officials that the protests and fighting will continue and justifies his actions against police officials. “Look,” he stated, “the videos are clear. One can see that we were not only disarmed, but they also said that we were carrying drugs. The intention is clear- to throw me in Cereso [the Center for Social Readaptation, Centro de Readaptación Social]. They signaled me out as the leader, which I’m not, and they threatened that they were going to be really tough on me.”