Javier Sicilia, a poet whose son was killed in March, allegedly by gunmen working for a drug cartel, led a caravan of 20 buses, the BBC reported. The group of about 500 people arrived in Ciudad Juarez late Thursday after spending a week on a 1,500-mile journey from Cuernavaca.
Sicilia suggested using the army to go after the cartels is simply fomenting violence. He suggested other tactics, such as seizing the assets of traffickers, would be more effective.
"Do your jobs, stop humiliating the citizens of Juarez, and do justice to so many who have died," Sicilia said. "This is the beginning of a civil resistance movement to transform consciousness, to start a dialogue in the absence of government policies."
Almost 35,000 people have been killed since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon first used the military to go after the cartels. Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, has become one of Mexico's most violent cities.
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