Love in Mexico

Navigating family and place


Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
December 31
This blog documents the encounters and events that taught me about Mexico, and about the culture of family, Mexico's and my own. .............................................… Find more of my work at ........................................... Thanks for reading.


JUNE 5, 2011 1:13PM

Mexico's Poet Peace March (pics)

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 In March, the son of Mexico's prize-winning poet and novelist, Javier Sicilia, was found murdered. The poet's response was two-fold: one final poem (below) and two feet on the ground. Sicilia has led several marches now, including one from his home in Cuernavaca to President Calderón's door in Mexico City. The poet's followers chant "¡Hasta la madre!"--enough already.

Sicilia is currently leading a march called La Caravana Nacional Ciudadana por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad, or the National Citizens' Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity. It began on the 4th of June in Sicilia's home city of Cuernavaca and then set forth upon "la Ruta del Terror": Cuernavaca to Mexico City to Toluca, Morelia, Guadalajara, León, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Durango, Saltillo, Monterrey, Torreón, Camargo, Chihuahua, and ending on June 10th in the city called "most visible face of the national destruction" of Mexico, Ciudad Juarez.

Saturday night, La Caravana por Paz came through Morelia. The photographs below are images of the march to the city center, followed by speeches in front of Michoacán's seat of government.

Many of the speeches voiced solidarity with the indigenous community of Cherán, which is facing off with the criminal organization that has disappeared members of the community and murdered others (see my earlier post on Grassroots Resistance Movements). A representative from Cherán was welcomed to the podium by the chant "No estan solos"--you are not alone.

But the hero of the night was the grief-stricken poet Sicilia.


Welcome Caravan for Peace with Dignity and Justice, Here We Are Also Hasta la Madre!


"We want to see justice"





"For a Culture that Respects Human Rights"
"Juan Jesús Ortiz Chávez, disappeared in Acapulco on September 30, 2010"
No more (blood)!
"We demand the truth: 2 Michoacanos are still missing"



There were political parties represented in the march (and pamphlets being passed around), although the movement, while opposing the government strategy, claims to be non-partisan
In Cherán, the pueblo shall overcome





Cherán is present, demands security, peace, and justice
Javier Sicilia (applauding)
Javier Sicilia in Morelia


Javier Sicilia

El mundo ya no es digno de la palabra

Nos la ahogaron adentro

Como te (asfixiaron),

Como te desgarraron a ti los pulmones

Y el dolor no se me aparta sólo queda un mundo

Por el silencio de los justos

Sólo por tu silencio y por mi silencio, Juanelo



Javier Sicilia

The world today is not worthy of the word

That they drowned within us

As they did you (asphyxiated)

As they tore from you your lungs

And the pain does not leave me

A world is silenced

By the silence of the just

By your silence and by my silence, Juanelo

(translation mine, with all apologies to the poet)

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I love the energy and the feeling of the people coming together to say they've had enough. I hope that things will change. Thank you for these photos and for the very moving poem and translation.
A heart-rending report.

Although my qualifications are slim, I do not think that you owe any apologies to the poet.
One wonders what the reaction in the US would be if George Bush or Barack Obama had killed a quarter million Americans in his War on Drugs.