04/13/11— The son of poet Javier Sicilia, Juan Francisco Sicilia, and six others were found dead on March 28th in a car in Cuernavaca after being missing for over almost a day. The bodies showed signs of torture and authorities reported they found a note from the Gulf Cartel left at the scene. The message allegedly accused the victims of reporting drug activity to a government hotline.
Javier Sicilia, a poet and columnist for La Jornada and Proceso, called for a series of protests on April 6th, after the murder of his son. The protests took place in more than 24 cities in Mexico throughout the day, but were partially overshadowed by the findings of over 100 bodies in the state of Tamaulipas due to organized crime violence. Protests also took place internationally in cities such as Buenos Aires, New York, Paris, Madrid, and numerous others. Protesters were seen chanting phrases such as “No more blood,” and others asking President Calderón to resign. In an open letter published in Proceso directed at Mexican politicians and criminals, Javier Sicilia argued that Calderón’s military-led campaign against the drug cartels was “badly planned, badly carried out, and badly led.” He also noted that Mexicans have had enough, while adding that the population has lost trust in their governors, police, and army, and are now living in fear and pain.
Before starting the protests, Sicilia met with President Calderón in Mexico City where the President reportedly offered his condolences while also updating Sicilia on the efforts to find his son’s killers.