Nov 23, 2011

Movement for Peace with Justice at a Crossroads

Following is Americas MexicoBlog's summary of an interview with Javier Sicilia of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, published this week in Proceso, a Mexican weekly magazine. The MexicoBlog translation of the full interview is available here. The original Spanish article is available here.
Javier Sicilia, the Mexican poet and social critic who founded the Movement for Peace with Justice following the murder of his son on March 28 of this year, has announced that he is stepping down from his leadership role. In an interview with the weekly magazine, Proceso, Sicilia said that he will stop being the leading image in order for the organization to become better orgniazed and more militant. "I will continue as a moral figure, the weight is too great for me to continue as the main figure," he said.

The Movement is currently involved in an intense process of internal self-examination to rethink goals, actions, structure, leadership and funding sources. It spent it first seven months carrying out major public symbolic actions. These included marches and two bus caravans through twenty-six states to awaken public consciousness and give a voice to victims of the drug war. "Dialogue" meetings were also held with President Calderón and other government leaders to demand assistance to victims, changes in the proposed Security Law and other reforms in the government strategy against the drug cartels.

Sicilia and other Movement leaders now agree it is time to create a more defined organization with broad leadership and a regional structure across the nation. "We are in a crisis of growth," said Sicilia. The Movement has no office ... nor money. When in Mexico City, Sicilia works in an office that is loaned to him by the National Center for Social Communication. All its workers are volunteers.

Pietro Ameglio, one of those in charge of creating a national network of organizations of relatives of victims, said that the poet's leadership is not in doubt but that it is necessary to build a broad structure for making decisions. "It is very clear that the main leadership is that of Javier Sicilia, there is a general acceptance of it. But there is also an increasing need to build the national network, where the victims also participate in and benefit from the decisions," Ameglio said.

Asked what the Movement's next steps will be, Sicilia replied, "'To pursue justice, to ensure that all the cases of victims are attended to by putting pressure on the newly created federal Office of Victim Services, to build the memorial, to make the National Security Act be appropriate to citizens' security and to work on the Victims' Law. As the name of the movement implies, to achieve peace with justice and dignity. ... the center of all this are the people who were abused. Beginning from there we proceed. We go forward because Mexico will continue for a long time in a state of national emergency."

More specifically, Ameglio said the movement is considering moving from symbolic actions, such as the caravans, to acts of peaceful civil resistance. Following the non-violent principles of Ghandi, this would begin with acts of "non-cooperation," such as sitting in at government offices where victims have filed complaints, waiting there "until either the agreement or what is asked for is completed."

No comments:

Post a Comment