Sunday, May 8, 2011

Protest Recap

The big climax of today's march in Mexico City seems to have been calls for Genaro García Luna to resign. Sicilia said, "I want to request the resignation of the secretary of public security, we want a message from the president saying that he did hear us". That's fair enough, though I doubt the request will go anywhere. Then Sicilia said, "We are also seeking this resignation to impede more deaths". This points to a basic problem underlying this latest bout of protesting: whether or not you think García Luna should go, his removal would not do much to alter the calculus leading gangs to kill each other today, which is to say, it would not make Mexico a safer country.

The Mexico City government says that some 65,000 people participated. That is certainly a significant gathering, but is a significantly lesser number than those we have seen for previous marches, which makes you wonder why. I can think of three possible factors: Mexicans are losing patience with marching, as the don't see it leading to any significant change; the group that set this march up did not do as a good job in organizing the protest; and the more politicized nature of this march turned off many who otherwise would have come.


Michael Lettieri said...

The Zocalo was most decidedly NOT crowded by the time Sicilia spoke, though by that point a lot of the people who had been out earlier were cooling off in Sanborns.

There was a lot of aspects that struck me as a little absurd, particularly the fetishism of 'citizen candidates' which was repeated ad nauseum. I will give Sicilia credit for attempting to silence the 'Muera Calderon' shouts by saying that 'No mas muertes really meant no mas muertes, including Calderon'. This, of course, did nothing to quiet the SME attendees who, predictably, were out in force.

pc said...

Yeah I was surprised to see that about the muera calderon. Good on Sicilia for tamping that down. The SME is a pretty odious, illiberal bunch. I wonder what he thinks about the groups that have gotten behind his march in particular. Not only is it immoral, it is just stupid and totally self-defeating--you lose any capacity to influence your political adversaries if you are calling for their death.

Mexfiles said...

One reason for the smaller crowd was that this march was not a "made for TV" event... that is, not endlessly pumped by Televisa nor were the political parties drumming up warm bodies for the event.

A good tip-off is those mega-marches included a suggested dress code.

Michael Lettieri said...

That's a fair point, but it felt only slightly larger than the October 2nd march; you would have thought it could have done better. I'm not seeing the historicness, but maybe as a historian my flaw is a predisposition not to.