San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico, Sep 12 (EFE).- Some 200 people took to the streets of the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas on Monday to demonstrate against growing violence in the region that has displaced thousands of people.
The march-pilgrimage was preceded by a religious celebration and called for unity and peace among the region’s inhabitants.
About 100 young people and children also took part and expressed their fear of the violence, insecurity and injustices in the area.
Civil organizations, single mothers, victims of violence and members of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas fasted, prayed and demonstrated for peace and respect for life.
The march began at 7.30 pm from the church in Guadalupe to the Plaza de la Paz in the historic center of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where violence has risen in recent months.
The short march of just over one kilometer took place without any incidents.
“We want peace for Mexico!” “Long live life!” “We want peace!” and “Peace for San Cristóbal!” were some of the slogans chanted by the demonstrators.
The demonstrators carried white flags with the image of a dove, candles, flowers and the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
An image of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was also carried by the parish priest of the Guadalupe church, Marcelo.
During the sermon, the priest invited those present to join forces, to transmit love and peace to their families.
“Like Father (of the Homeland, Miguel) Hidalgo I invite you to join the army, but this time without weapons, today it is time to fight with a dialogue of peace and brotherhood,” he said, raising the flag of Mexico, the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the flag of peace.
In recent months, Chiapas state – the poorest in Mexico – has experienced an escalation of violence in some indigenous communities due to organized crime. EFE