This past week, the Associated Press reported the brutal murders of four young people in the central Mexican city of Cuernavaca, Morelos. Just a year ago this March, Cuernavaca bore horrified witness to the murders of six other youths, including the son of Mexican poet Javier Sicilia. Since his son was killed, Sicilia has catalyzed a nationwide movement that calls for justice for Mexico’s victims of violent crime. In response to people who said that these most recent deaths were the result of violence between gang members, Sicilia replies:
If they are killing each other, they still deserve justice. They were not born criminals. The government and society are not giving these youths what they need to become men, not criminals.
Javier Sicilia is the 2012 recipient of Annunciation House’s Voice of the Voiceless Award.