7 Apr 2013

Drug war dead memorial

6:47 am on 7 April 2013

Mexico has unveiled a memorial to the tens of thousands of people killed during the drug war there.

At least 70,000 people have been killed in the past seven years and many more remain unaccounted for. But the memorial has no names of the dead.

Some relatives of the dead and missing, do not feel represented.

"This memorial remembers not only those who are gone, but also those who are still here," said Alejandro Marti, the founder of the SOS group, whose teenage son was kidnapped and murdered in 2008.

''The victims of the violence are not numbers. They are stories. They are a pending agenda for the government and for all of society," he said.

Poet Javier Sicilia, whose son was kidnapped and killed in 2011, declined to take part in the ceremony.

He said members of his Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity did not feel represented by the memorial.

He objects to the fact that it is located next to a military base and does not include names of the dead and disappeared.

The BBC reports the memorial was built with funds seized from drug cartels. Construction cost $US2.4 million.

Officially the memorial has no names because no list of the dead exists, although there is room to add them.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, also speaking at the inauguration ceremony, said the country needed to turn the years of violence and pain into positive, generous and productive action.