On June 1, 2011, Global Exchange hosted it's 9th Annual Human Rights Awards in San Francisco, CA.
People’s Choice Honoree Javier Sicilia is a Mexican father, poet and citizen who lost his son in a drug war massacre on March 28, 2011. Javier’s son, Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega, was murdered along with six friends in an act of violence that Morelos state authorities in Mexico immediately dismissed as “a settling of accounts”. Juan Francisco and his friend’s murders took place in the context of more than 38,000 mostly nameless victims of this cruel and unnecessary war.
Rather than retreat to the shadows of shock or fear, Sicilia has turned the pain of his searing loss into a tool for peace by convening marches and building a movement to free Mexico from the dogmas, dark alliances, impunity and political expediency that fuel this tragic war.
More than 1,200 people selected Javier to be Global Exchange’s 2011 People’s Choice Honoree because of the leadership he has brought to a country hungry for voices of authentic change. This award honors his work to weave together a broad movement rooted in Mexico’s best traditions while calling on all of the participants of Mexico’s bloody war — criminals, police, army soldiers and officers, bankers, weapons dealers and political officials alike — to do their part to end the violence.
Watch a video about Mr. Sicilia's work here: vimeo.com/25365876
Find out more at: globalexchange.org/countries/americas/mexico/