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Mexico Prepares for Massive National Protest on May 8

This post is part of our special coverage Mexico's Drug War.

Next Sunday May 8, 2011, Mexican citizens will march to demand the end to the “War on Drugs” and the removal of all government officials responsible for more than 35,000 deaths and the increase of insecurity and corruption.

Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who became the leading voice of the discontent towards the government's method of tackling the drug trafficking problem after his son Juan Francisco was killed, is inviting all those who want ‘peace and justice’ to join the protests next Sunday.

Here is Javier Sicilia's message in English:

The protest will start on May 5 in Cuernavaca, a city close to the capital where Sicilia's son was killed, and will head all the way to the National University (UNAM) in Mexico City. Neftali Granados (@NeftaliGranados) [es] tweeted the route to follow.

The itinerary for the protest in Mexico is available at the official site of Red Paz y Justicia [es] (Peace and Justice Network). A Facebook page [es] has also been set up with the details. Furthermore, there is another official blog dedicated to the details of the different protests throughout the country [es].

Newspaper La Jornada is fully supporting the protest and publishing editorials frequently to get the goals of the May 8 protests across. Professor John M. Ackerman, a strong and respected voice from Mexican civil society, writes [es]:

Para que la marcha del domingo tenga un impacto real y un efecto detonador expansivo, los que participaremos en ella estamos obligados a utilizar todos los medios a nuestro alcance para dejar en claro que nuestro reclamo principal es hacia el total fracaso de la clase gobernante, y de Calderón en particular, para asegurar condiciones básicas de paz y seguridad.

For Sunday's march to have a real impact and an expansive detonating effect, all of us which participate in it are obliged to use all means at our disposal to make it clear that our main complaint is about the total failure of the political class, and Calderon in particular, to ensure basic conditions of peace and security.

Poster for the protest in Monterrey by @MariaMaria__

Subcomandante Marcos sent a letter to Javier Sicilia to express solidarity and inform that the indigenous people of Chiapas will join the national protest.

Citizens from Jalisco already published their 6 demands [es] for next Sunday, which include creating an official database of victims of the war, stopping the mainstream media's practice of presenting detainees under presumption of guilt and providing human rights education for kids.

31 cites in Mexico, in nearly all states, have already scheduled protests. International cities like Berlin, London, Hamburg, Río de Janeiro, New York, Montreal and Barcelona are also participating. The protests scheduled for May 8 around the world can be tracked through Google maps.

In Paris participants will create a memorial [es] and hand out flyers explaining the situation in México. There is also an initiative called “Letters for Peace,” where participants are asked to recover the name of a victim of the war from a database and send an empty envelope with their names written [es] on it to President Felipe Calderón. A gallery of the envelopes is available on Flickr.

Image by acción.sobre.vacío on Flickr (CC BY 3.0)

Oscar Mondragón (@Omondra) calls on those that are not able to attend the protests to put a white flag outside their house or car and wear white clothes in solidarity with the national protest.

You can join the this massive protest from your city on May 8 and keep an eye on the hashtags #marchanacional, #mayo8, #8mayo, #estamoshastalamadre, and #nomassangre, for updates on this movement that many hope will mark the beginning of something good.

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