When Javier Sicilia's son Juan was brutally murdered on March 28, 2011, after a fight in a nightclub, the famed Mexican poet abandoned writing. Before doing so, he decided to write one last verse, The Guardian reports:
The world is not worthy of words / they have been suffocated from the inside / just as they suffocated you
Since his son's murder, Sicilia has put down the pen and taken up the fight against drug violence in Mexico and for anti-crime reform through the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, his push to bring awareness to the conflict tearing the country apart, according to Time.
"Drugs are not a national security issue. They're a national health issue," Sicilia told Democracy Now!. "Turning a public health issue into a security issue has created an absurd war that has killed 60,000, and we don't even know how many disappeared. Two-hundred-fifty-thousand displaced people, 8,000 orphans and a diveded and obliterated country."
Sicilia explained to The Guardian:
The violence is now so widespread that an everyday event, like a row in a nightclub, can escalate within minutes into mass murder. It's a country out of control – people are dying everywhere, the whole time … and many are young, like Juan, on the threshold of their lives.
Promoting drug trade legalization puts Sicilia at odds with the efforts of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, according to Democracy Now!, though President Calderón has sat down for talks with Sicilia and other families of those killed in the drug war.
Sicilia also says the problem isn't limited to just Mexico, but rather is as big of a problem in the United States; Sicilia says guns are getting to Mexico from the U.S. to illegally arm Mexican drug gangs.
According to the Peace Caravan's statement, Sicilia wants to "Bring to the American people's conscience their shared responsibility for the thousands of dead, missing and displaced in the drug war."
Watch Sicilia's interview on Democracy Now! in the video above.