A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Columnist praises activist Javier Sicilia for getting presidential candidates to listen to victims of violence

Sicilia peace caravan to Washington to start from Friendship Park on San Diego-Tijuana border Aug. 12, border activist Enrique Morones says

Excélsior columnist Leo Zuckermann praised human rights activist Javier Sicilia for getting the four javier siciliapresidential candidates to appear before his Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity group in Chapultepec Castle and to get them to listen to victims of the nation's violence. Zuckermann said the candidates have not focused on the violence issue as they should. Zuckermann said the event helps show that there will be no going back to an authoritarian regime if the Institutional Revolutionary Party wins because civil society in Mexico cannot be put back into the bottle. Zuckermann's column.

Many on the left and in Mexico's intellectual class are not happy with Sicilia for pushing for a spoiled ballot, or null vote, for president. For example, journalist Sanjuana Martínez, who spoke about her "La Frontera del Narco" book Tuesday night at the Tijuana Book Fair, said she opposed the null vote because it means a vote for the PRI. Columnist Denise Dresser said the same thing during at her appearance at the University of San Diego earlier this month. Sicilia criticized all four candidates Monday, and on Tuesday, populist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador's wife came to his defense. Sicilia had said that for many, López Obrador is messianic, intolerant and unable to accept criticism; Beatriz Gutiérrez wrote on her Facebook page that it was unfair to flog the man she called the only candidate who has long been meeting with victims, the marginalized and unprotected, well before Sicilia was. Sicilia, a poet, began the peace movement last year after his son was killed as part of Mexico's wave of violence in the Cuernavaca area. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Meanwhile, Border Angels leader Enrique Morones said that on Aug. 12, Sicilia's group will begin a peace caravan from Friendship Park at the San Diego-Tijuana border to Washington. Morones has been trying to get all of Friendship Park, under restricted access for homeland security reasons, more accessible to the general public. The park on the Pacific Ocean was opened by President Nixon's wife, Pat, in 1971. Morones made the announcement at a breakfast meeting of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.
Story on Sicilia's visit to Tijuana last year.