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  HOME | Mexico

Mexican Cartoonists Launch Campaign Against Violence

MEXICO CITY – Several of Mexico’s best known cartoonists have launched a campaign against the drug-related violence that has left more than 30,000 people dead in the country since December 2006.

Cartoonists included the slogans “No + sangre” (No + Blood) and “Basta de sangre” (Enough Blood) in the strips published on Monday by Mexico’s leading newspapers.

The cartoonists used the opportunity to criticize the all-out war declared by President Felipe Calderon on the country’s drug cartels.

“It is unbelievable that Mexico is a country that is a victim of this wave of bloodshed like if we were in Afghanistan or Iraq. It is inconceivable that we are living through this in Mexico,” Eduardo del Rio, better known as “Rius,” told MVS radio.

The initiative is a “romantic call” or a kind of “plot ... to see if people will join this campaign of the discontent and express themselves in a peaceful way,” Rius said.

“I don’t think there is anybody who is happy with the situation we are living through. But many people keep quiet and say ‘we can’t do anything, there is no way that our voice will be heard,’” the cartoonist said.

Cartoonist Rogelio Naranjo drew a skull covered with rags in a pool of blood in El Universal with a message that read “No + sangre.”

Helio Flores drew a hand holding a bloody sign with the caption “Basta de sangre” in the same daily, with a smaller frame showing a vacant lot with two skulls and the words “No mas sangre” (No More Blood).

La Jornada’s front page featured the same message, which is the main theme of the campaign, replacing the word “blood” with a red stain splattering the words.

A drawing by Rafael Barajas, known as “El Fisgon,” inside the newspaper shows President Calderon pouring blood out of a heart that he holds over a cup, which overflows and spills onto the bottom of the frame and the message “Basta de sangre.”

Jose Trinidad Camacho, better known as “Trino,” used his cops and robbers series to show a crook who robs a person and is given a bag of cash and thanked for not being violent.

The idea is to use “a common cartoon that calls on people to join this initiative and stop being quiet and keeping their arms crossed, to get them to express themselves in some way,” Rius, who organized the campaign, said.

Members of Congress and governors “keep quiet, allowing this situation to grow,” the cartoonist said.

“It seems to me unbelievable that just one man can make the decisions for the more than 100 million inhabitants of Mexico,” Rius said.

Mexico marked a bloody start to 2011 over the weekend, with at least 28 people murdered in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

Twenty-four people were found slain – 15 of them beheaded – in Acapulco on Saturday alone.

A record 12,456 people were murdered in Mexico during the first 11 months of 2010, the Attorney General’s Office said in a report released on Dec. 16.

Calderon has made fighting Mexico’s drug cartels a priority since taking office on Dec. 1, 2006, but he has been unable to stop the drug-related violence. EFE

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