Mexico City – Poet Javier Sicilia's Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity called over the weekend on President Felipe Calderon and the Senate to work for peace and scrap the National Security Law being debated by the Mexican Congress.
"We call on the branches of government once more so that together, without betraying the word and putting our hearts into it, we can find peace," Sicilia said at the end of a peace march on Sunday.
The movement plans to resume its dialogue with lawmakers on Aug. 17, Sicilia said.
The talks were broken off on Aug. 4 after a Senate committee approved, with reservations, a provision of the National Security Law that Sicilia's movement opposes.
The marchers arrived at the Los Pinos presidential palace just after midday on Sunday.
Sicilia called for a minute of silence in front of the palace and demanded that the Calderon administration continue the dialogue, but with a real desire to achieve peace.
The movement wants a new National Security Law that will assist the more than 50,000 victims of violence in Mexico since 2006.
The bill being debated by Congress should be scrapped because its roots are in legislation first proposed by Calderon in April 2009 and later changed by the Senate, Sicilia said.
The controversial bill regulates the use of the armed forces in public safety and law enforcement.
"It's very important to regulate firearms, especially assault weapons, because they are the ones entering our country, around 2,000 daily, so I believe that it is important to regulate the sale of these arms," the poet, who staged a similar protest in June, said.
Several hundred supporters of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity participated in Sunday's silent march, which started at the Museum of Anthropology and ended at Los Pinos and the Senate.
The peace movement's aim is to pressure the government into changing its security strategy in the war on drugs, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in Mexico.
Sicilia repeated the pledge he made in April to not write any poetry until there was peace in Mexico.
The poet's 24-year-old son, Juan Francisco, and six other young men were murdered by the violent Pacifico Sur drug cartel in the central state of Morelos on March 27.
"I am not going to go back to writing poetry until my nation, which is torn, destroyed and nearly dead, is revived in peace. And that is when I will resume writing," Sicilia said.
The marchers, many of them clad in white, carried signs calling for an end to the bloodshed in Mexico.
Some artists and writers, including Paco Ignacio Taibo II, took part in the march, which drew people of all ages into the streets of Mexico City.
The Calderon administration denies the charges leveled by Sicilia and other peace activists.
The government has not militarized the war on drugs and the armed forces have not left their barracks and taken over the streets, federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire said earlier this year.
The majority of army troops and marines "are not assigned to operations fighting organized crime," Poire said, adding that "the violations that have occurred have been incidental, have been punished and are not the result of a structural matter."
Human rights groups have reported a rise in violations committed by military personnel engaged in the war against Mexico's drug cartels.