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Mexico: Blood Fountains

This post is part of our special coverage Mexico's Drug War.

“Paremos las balas, pintemos las fuentes” (Let's stop the bullets, let's paint the fountains) [es] is a Mexican social movement that calls for justice and recalls the country's government's actions on several crimes that have not had a clear judicial procedure.

To the amazement of pedestrians that circulated around the capital Mexico City during the last weekend of May 2011, activists stained the water of the famous statue of “Diana la Cazadora” (Diana the Huntress) in the Paseo de la Reforma -one of the most important avenues in Mexico City – blood red.

Image from blog "Let's stop the bullets, let's paint the fountains" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5).

Image from blog "Let's stop the bullets, let's paint the fountains" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5).

Activists walked around the monument shouting slogans like “Not one more dead!” and “Out Calderón!” The police tried to stop the protest, but thanks to its peaceful nature the participants were allowed to continue with their manifestation.

Iroel Sánchez Espinosa, author of the blog La pupila insomne, describes the situation [es]:

En la protesta, con lemas como “No más sangre” y “¡Ni un muerto más!” un grupo de manifestantes demandaron el regreso del ejército a sus cuarteles y denunciaron la estraegia gubernamental de enfrentamiento al narcotráfico que a juicio de muchos no hace sino multiplicar la violencia.

In the protest, with slogans like “No more blood” and “Not one more death!”a group of protesters demanded the return of the army to its barracks and denounced the government strategy confronting drug trafficking which in the opinion of many merely multiplies violence.

Sánchez also says the slogans used in the Mexican protest [es] could be implemented in several conflicts in different parts of the world, like in Spain or the United States:

Las enarboladas ayer en México, son consignas que podrían aplicarse también al comportamiento de la OTAN y Estados Unidos en Libia, Iraq y Afganistán, o a la intervención de las autoridades en Barcelona este viernes contra los manifestantes que piden “Democracia real Ya”

Yesterday in Mexico, the slogans could be applied to the behavior of NATO and the United States in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, or the intervention of the authorities in Barcelona on Friday against demonstrators calling for “Real Democracy Now “

On the movement's blog, Paremos las balas pintemos las fuentes, the activists’ demands appear as a proposal for a new national pact, where they call for answers to different civil demands:

Proponemos a la sociedad y planteamos la exigencia y mandato a las autoridades acciones de corto y mediano plazo que inicien un nuevo camino de paz con justicia y dignidad

1. Exigimos verdad y justicia:

a) Se deben esclarecer y resolver los asesinatos, las desapariciones, los secuestros, las fosas clandestinas, la trata de personas, y el conjunto de delitos que han agraviado a la sociedad, mediante procesos transparentes y efectivos de investigación, procuración y administración de justicia en que se procese a los autores materiales e intelectuales incluyendo a las redes de complicidad y omisión de las autoridades responsables. Determinar la identidad de todas las víctimas de homicidio es un ejercicio indispensable para generar confianza.

We propose to society and we point out the need and mandate to the authorities of short and medium term actions to initiate a new path of peace with justice and dignity

1. We demand truth and justice:

a) Killings, disappearances, kidnappings, mass graves, human trafficking and all crimes that have wronged society should be cleared up and solved, through transparent and effective investigation, prosecution and administration of justice in prosecuting the material and intellectual perpetrators including networks of complicity and omission from the responsible authorities. Determining the identity of all victims of homicide is an essential exercise to build trust.

Image from blog "Let's stop the bullets, let's paint the fountains" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5)

Mexican Twitter users have also expressed their thoughts. Carlos A. Santoscoy (@CarloSantoscoy) invited citizens to come and see the fountains with their own eyes:

#notelopierdas en la #dianacazadora hay una marcha y el agua de la imponente fuente es roja como sangre “NO MAS SANGRE”

#donotmissit in the #dianacazadora there's a protest and the water of the amazing fountain is red like blood “NO MORE BLOOD”

Katia Nilo Fernandez (@KatiaNilo) mentioned a picture of the fountain that speaks for itself:

La Diana cazadora tambien dice #nomassangre http://t.co/BGtvfYU la imagen me puso la piel chinita!

The Diana Cazadora also says #NoMoreBlood http://t.co/BGtvfYU this image gave me goose bumps!

Also, Aideé Stephanie (@lajimenezmx) spoke about the damage this protest could cause:

@andrea_arzaba waaait! libertad de expresión NO implica que se puedan dañar obras públicas con colorantes.

@andrea_arzaba waaait! freedom of expression DOES NOT involves damaging national buildings with dyes.

This post is part of our special coverage Mexico's Drug War.

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