On March 28th 2014, organizers in Mexico are marking the third anniversary of the murder of Juan Francisco Sicilia and six friends, the tragic event that catalyzed the movement of drug war victims known as the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD).
A series of commemorative actions to mark this Day of the Victim will be held under the banner of “because we have memories we plant the seed of justice.” Events are taking place in both Cuernavaca and Mexico City calling for ending this brutal “war against the people – no more deaths and no more disappeared.”
This third anniversary comes at a moment of great challenge for the MPJD and all others struggling for justice in Mexico. The reestablished PRI government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has moved skillfully and cynically to change the narrative. They seek to obscure the harsh realities of widespread violence and forced disappearances that continue unabated despite media coups such as the capture of drug “kingpins” like Chapo Guzmán of the Sinaloa Cartel.
In a recent Spanish language interview, movement thinker Pietro Ameglio reflects on the profound challenges facing social justice movements confronting a government that seeks to erase their influence by simulating false progress toward peace while utterly failing to deliver justice. In the face of continuing brutality and shameless impunity he calls for stepping up civil resistance actions that can reveal the yawning gap between the discourse of the government and the realities of its actions.
In the coming months, as organizers focus on how to challenge the suffocating silence being imposed by the new government, international support will be a vital factor.