13 buses and at least 25 cars full of people are traveling in caravan through Mexico on their way to Ciudad Juarez, infamously known as the world’s murder capital.
Renowned Mexican poet and writer, Javier Sicilia, led a caravan passing through cities across Mexico that have been most affected by drug violence. Sicilia’s son was murdered when he was caught in the crossfire of a battle between soldiers and drug cartels. He gave a speech at Mexico City’s monument El Angel de la Independencia and said, “With this pain in our hearts, we’re going to march all week to the most wounded city in the country.”
This caravan was designed to help unite families who have been torn apart by drug violence. Since President Felipe Calderon was elected in 2006, an estimated 40,000 have been killed and about 3,000 people who have disappeared. The murder rate has spiked 60 percent since just last year.
Civil society groups will reconvene in Cuidad Juarez on Friday to sign the Citizen’s Pact For Peace, Justice, and Dignity. This pact has a six-point plan for peace includes the following demands:
- an immediate end to the war on drugs
- authorities escalate the investigation of unsolved crimes
- the government curbs corruption, impunity and money laundering
- an educational and employment strategy for young people is developed