Several hundred clowns from across the Americas attending the 18th International Clown Convention took to the streets of Mexico City to call for an end to violence and protest organized crime groups' use of disguises to rob and murder people.

The protest started on Wednesday, the opening day of the convention, in a Mexico City park, where the clowns gathered to share smiles, jokes, sweets, balloons and plastic noses with children of all ages.

"We clowns aren't thugs or killers. We reject violence because we are peace lovers and responsible for spreading joy and happiness," Llantin the Clown, one of the convention's organizers, told Efe.

The protest was staged just days after former Tijuana drug cartel leader Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was gunned down at children's party in Los Cabos, a resort city in Baja California Sur state, by at least one gunman dressed as a clown.

"We reject the idea that the killer was a real clown and are sure that none of our colleagues would do something like that. It's sad that they are trying to stain this image of kindness and love," Llantin said.

"We do not want any more violence or crime. We want to work so Mexico and other countries will have happiness. We are bringers of joy and peace for little ones and their families," Llantin said.

The clowns also managed to break the world record for laughing, managing to laugh for 15 minutes straight.

The International Clown Convention, also known as the "Laughter Fair," ends on Thursday.

Mexico hosts the clown convention each year, with similar events held in Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, organizers said.

Ecuador and Honduras will host their first clown conventions in 2014. EFE