Mexico: Caravan for Peace concludes after journeying to Tabasco, Veracruz, and Puebla

Villahermosa (@Movement for Peace)

On 17 September, upon leaving the state of Chiapas, the Caravan to the South associated with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity continued its path through the states of Tabasco, Veracruz, and Puebla before returning to Mexico City on 19 September.  In Villahermosa, Tabasco, the Caravan engaged in a march and several protests in which relatives of victims, those affected by flooding, oil workers, and ambulant merchants exposed their problems.  Symbolically the Municipal Palace was closed and there was held another event in front of the local Congress, a moment in which Sicilia affirmed that “the politicians should listen to us, given that we have now passed over them.  If they do not straighten out the path taken by the country, if they do not begin to build security with the citizenry, this will sadly be the last pacifist movement.”

Several security incidents occurred during the journey between Villahermosa and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, led to a restrengthening of the security that accompanied the Caravan before its arrival to Mexico City.  Alvarez Icaza noted three such incidents: the detention of Father Tomás González, defender of migrants in Tenosique, Tabasco; the activation of a security protocol on the part of Sicilia’s bodyguards on a highway; and the presence of men who traveled in three taxis and attempted to enter the house of the capital’s ex-ombudsman.

Veracruz (@Movement for Peace)

The members of the Caravan arrived in Xalapa where awaiting them was one of the most numerous receptions that the Caravan has experienced, given the participation of more than 5000 Xalapeños.  In a public act, Sicilia called for the unity of all citizens so as to detain the “absurd and imbecile” war and the horror and violence it generates.  “Together we are the moral reserve that the country needs,” he affirmed.

In Puebla, human-rights NGOs welcomed the arrival of the Caravan, noting “Welcome to Puebla, a state in which death wears make-up while violence is promoted, in which no authority is responsible for its actions, in which impunity is official policy.”

The Caravan to the South of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity concluded its journey in the evening of 19 September with a protest in the Zócalo of Mexico City, following a campaign of more than 4000 kilometers that saw visits to eight states, with the objective of giving a voice to victims of organized crime, as well as victims of the political-economic system of the country.  “Guerrero and Veracruz are now a replica of Ciudad Juárez and Tamaulipas,” declared Sicilia.  He demanded that organized crime halt violence: “To the criminals we ask: What happiness do you seek if its foundations base themselves on death?  To the politicians, how will you care for the house named Mexico if its foundations are based on indifference, in legalized violence?”  After a minute of silence, he warned “the men of death and corrupt governments” that “we are many, and we carry alive the country that you want to destroy.”

For more information (in Spanish):

TABASCO

Marcha Caravana por la Paz en Villahermosa (Tabasco Hoy, 17 September)

Caravana al Sur denuncia detención de activista (El Universal, 17 September)

Si no escuchan, será el último movimiento pacifista: Sicilia (El Universal, 17 September)

VERACRUZ

Veracruz atiende queja de Sicilia y da más seguridad (El Universal, 18 September)

Ninguna amenaza parará caravana por la paz: Sicilia (El Universal, 18 September)

Refuerzan seguridad de Caravana; denuncian intimidación (Proceso, 18 September)

Caravana llega a Xalapa fuertemente custodiada (El Universal, 18 September)

Caravana: al unísono, cinco mil personas en Xalapa claman por justicia(Proceso, 18 September)

Jalapeños se sacuden el miedo y ganan la calle para recibir a la Caravana al Sur (La Jornada, 19 September)

Policías federales apoyarán la expedición (La Jornada, 19 September)

PUEBLA

La inseguridad no es culpa de Calderón: Sicilia (El Universal, 19 de septiembre)

Sicilia critica discursos ‘rebasados’ de las ONG (El Universal, 19 de septiembre)

ONG poblanas presentan casos de violaciones de derechos humanos ante la Caravana por la Paz (La Jornada, 19 de septiembre)

CIUDAD DE MEXICO

Sicilia pide a políticos escuchar a víctimas (El Universal, 19 September)

Freno a la violencia en el país, exige Sicilia en el Zócalo (Proceso, 19 September)

Guerrero y Veracruz, una réplica de Cd. Juárez y Tamaulipas: Sicilia(Milenio, 19 September)

La Caravana por la Paz llega a la Ciudad de México tras recorrer el sur(CNN México, 19 September)

Palabras de Javier Sicilia para finalizar la Caravana de Paz (19 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Caravan to the South Day 2 (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: Day 1 of the Caravan to the South (26 September 2011)

Oaxaca receives Caravan to the South (23 September 2011)

Chiapas: Annunciation of the Caravan to the South in Chiapas (23 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: organizations will welcome the Caravan to the South of the Movement for Peace (22 September)

Mexico: March “Steps for Peace” (19 August)

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