Photo: Javier Sicilia questions the motives of the presidential campaigns
Poet Javier Sicilia, the leader of Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, or MPJD, blasted on Monday the farce represented by the current electoral campaign, considering it “the continuation of violence by other means.”
“It seems that the polls are no longer able to respond to the nation’s broken dreams,” Sicilia said.
Mexico is “facing an electoral process trapped in a dead end,” in the grip of violence that has left almost 60,000 people dead and more than 20,000 missing since the end of 2006 when President Felipe Calderon launched a strategy of all-out war against crime, Sicilia said.
Mexico today has been seized “by hypocrisy, cynicism and crime,” and is in a situation of national emergency because of the insecurity and violence, Sicilia said.
The poet and human rights activist has said that he plans to cast a blank ballot in the July 1 general elections as a “dignity” vote and to protest the inability of the political parties to deal with Mexico’s problems, including the wave of drug-related violence.
The poet recalled that the victims, who are meeting Monday with the four presidential hopefuls at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City “have not yet received an ounce of justice” from Mexico’s institutions.
Sicilia reproached the candidate for the government National Action Party, or PAN, Josefina Vazquez Mota, the first nominee to appear before the victims’ representatives, because she and her political party seem to just talk about violence without specifying any policies with the power to end it.
“While the citizenry remains defenseless, you and your party spend millions on campaigns and demagogy,” Sicilia told Vazquez Mota after reading some verses by Mexican writer Octavio Paz and observing a minute of silence in memory of the victims.
Sicilia said that PAN has “been satisfied with accusing the other parties of corruption” without laying out any paths to true peace.
The organization created by Calderon to channel the demands of victims of violence, known as Provictima, “is shameful considering the size of the problem” facing the country, Sicilia said.
The MPJD, established in early May 2011 to support the victims of violence, believes that everything related to drug trafficking should be analyzed as a health problem, not a problem of national security, as it has been throughout the Calderon presidency that took power on Dec. 1, 2006.
The victims will also question and exchange ideas with frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and Gabriel Quadri of the minority New Alliance Party, or Panal.
The four candidates will vie for the presidency in the elections next July 1, in which nearly 80 million citizens are eligible to vote.
On that day all new lawmakers in the lower house will be elected along with half the Senate, while state and municipal officials will also be voted in.
Sicilia became a human rights activist in the wake of his son’s murder last year.
The poet’s 24-year-old son, Juan Francisco, and six other young men were murdered by the violent Pacifico Sur drug cartel in the central state of Morelos on March 27, 2011.
Juan Francisco’s killing led Sicilia to stop writing and dedicate himself full-time to working for peace so other parents will not have to feel his pain.