Mexican poet Javier Sicilia has announced that he will be helping to organize a peace caravan which will mobilize in Cuernavaca in the first few days of June. Since the murder of his son in March 2011, Sicilia has been the driving force behind a series of demonstrations calling on Mexican President Felipe Calderon to end his militarization strategy regarding the drug cartels. Approximately 35,000 people have died since Calderon's implemented his war-on-drugs response in 2006.
Beginning in Cuernavaca, Morelos, the city where Sicilia's son Juan Francisco was found dead in a car, and ending up in Cuidad Juárez, Chichuahua, the caravan will travel through 12 Mexican states, demonstrating and collecting signatures on the "National Pact for Peace". Cuidad Juárez is considered to be the most violent city in the country, a symbol Sicilia wants to leverage in his demonstration. "We must not lose the symbol of what Juarez (...) is, the symbol that the country is torn," he said at a news conference.
The National Pact for Peace was first presented at the May 8 demonstration in Mexico City which attracted a reported 90,000 participants. The Pact calls for improved law enforcement, a shift from the militaristic approach in the fight against organized crime to a public safety strategy, and an end to official corruption. In addition, the document provides alternative strategies to attack the finances of crime, restore the social fabric with policies for education and employment for youth, and advocate for a better representative democracy.
The caravan's proposed schedule has been posted online, here.