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Caravan for Peace Kicks Off in Mexico

MEXICO / 6 JUN 2011 BY PATRICK CORCORAN EN

Mexico’s latest anti-violence protest, the Caravan for Peace, kicked off on Saturday in Cuernavaca, and will wind its way through 12 cities in central and northern Mexico over the next week.

The Caravan is the brainchild of Javier Sicilia, a poet and journalist whose son was murdered along with six friends after an altercation in a Cuernavaca bar in March. He is joined by various peace activists and NGOs, as well as people who have lost family members to drug violence

In response to the killing, Sicilia organized a pair of protest days in April and May, to criticize the government’s security strategy. In the May protest, Sicilia asked for the resignation of Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna, one of the architects of President Felipe Calderon’s crime policy. However, the government denied the petition.

While he has not made any specific requests in the two days of the caravan, Sicilia has asked for a sign that Calderon is listening to the pleas of those protesting.

The protest will arrive for a two-day stretch in Ciudad Juarez, long considered ground zero of Mexico’s battles with organized crime, on Thursday.

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