Essays Blood and Sand: Poet Javier Sicilia Makes the Victims Visible

Blood and Sand: Making the Victims Visible

I have spent the last several weeks working with the Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (MPJD) (Movement for Justice with Peace and Dignity), led by Mexican poet, essayist, and novelist Javier Sicilia. Upon the cartel-related murder of his 23-year-old son, Juan Francisco, in March of 2011, Sicilia became the most prominent public figure who has suffered the loss of a loved one to question the entire premise of a war that has claimed some 60,000 lives—with up to 10,000 disappeared and 160,000 displaced. Since his son’s murder, he has led dozens of mass marches and caravans across Mexico, “visibilizando víctimas,” as he puts it, making the victims visible.

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