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Marching for peace in Monterrey

Marcha monterrey

Another major demonstration of scores of people in white came together over the weekend. This time it took place in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, and this time its goal was not to press for human rights in Cuba but to press for peace and calm in the face of an ever-more violent drug war. A sub-plot battle in Mexico's continuing narco-conflict -- the Gulf cartel vs. the Zetas -- appears to be consuming Mexico's northeast, as Ken Ellingwood writes.

Monterrey is right in the middle of it.

About 7,000 people gathered in the city's Fundidora Park on Sunday to call for an end to the bloody clashes between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, and between the smugglers and police and military forces. Politicians showed up, but there were no political speeches. Demonstrators bore signs and balloons, and grim expressions on their faces.

Prosperous Monterrey, more genetically in tune with Texas and the U.S. than with Mexico's deep southern core, isn't used to this sort of thing. The tipping point for many, it seems, were the shooting deaths of two bright students at the prestigious Tec de Monterrey during a gun battle that erupted on the university campus this month. And yup, the military initially suggested the victims were narco-related.

"It's not fair that they indiscriminately kill people," a local human rights activist told La Jornada, in an article titled "Chaos and Fear in Monterrey After Killings at the Tec." "We want to know if the army has permission to kill, because it's as though they have a direct order to execute and then not even investigate later."

The papers noted that in the span of the Sunday march in white, seven people were killed in narco-clashes in the state of Nuevo Leon, where Monterrey is located.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Demonstrating for peace in Monterrey, Mexico. Credit: La Jornada

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Ken Ellingwood
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