Mexico City – Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who launched a grassroots movement against violence after his son was killed earlier this year, said Thursday he will forgive the men suspected in the murder if he meets them in person but still insists that "justice" be served.
"I don't believe in charity without justice, or forgiveness without justice. They go hand-in-hand, but justice must be (a process of) healing within their hearts because they can't give us back our children's lives," Sicilia told MVS radio.
The prominent poet and journalist said Wednesday's arrest of Julio de Jesus Radilla - leader of the Pacifico Sur cartel in the central state of Morelos - and two others suspected in the killing of Sicilia's son "shows that when the police want to do things they can do (them) very well and do the job people are paying them to do."
"They've just shown what they can do. They have to do (the same) in each of the cases" of victims of drug-related violence, the poet said.
Sicilia, whose son Juan Francisco was killed on March 27 along with six other people in Temixco, Morelos, responded by launching a grassroots movement against violence and impunity.
He already has headed one mass march to Mexico City and next month will lead another from Cuernavaca, Morelos, to the violent northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The poet said he wants to see the suspected killers of his son face-to-face and talk to them about forgiveness - a "complex, profound, subject" - and "confront them with his own misery."
Sicilia, a Catholic and advocate of the philosophy of non-violence, said forgiveness in all of its forms is a gift of grace, "something born out of charity," and that he wants to extend it to his son's killers.
He said the six suspected drug cartel hit men implicated in the killings "still have the chance to save themselves" but that will involve "serving out the sentence that corresponds to these crimes, as a means of remorse, expiation, awareness of their guilt, enabling them to truly and sincerely ask for forgiveness and change their lives."
The poet said if he meets with them he will use the oportunity to send a message to their bosses: "to let us live in peace, to stay away from ordinary citizens, from good people."
"We're fed up with the violence and with losing our loved ones. Surely there's still that ounce of humanity I believe must still exist in these human beings. If not, they're already in the realm of the diabolical, in hell, and their horror will keep them there forever," Sicilia added.
"I don't wish evil on anyone, even if it's the people who murdered my son."
Sicilia has become a spokesman for the relatives of thousands of innocent victims of drug-related violence in Mexico, which has been wracked by daily turf battles among drug cartels and clashes between the mobs and the security forces in different parts of the country.
Nearly 40,000 people have been killed in organized crime-related violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and militarized the struggle against the cartels.