Who: Movement of Embroidery for Peace in Mexico
What: The Movement of Embroidery for Peace in Mexico announced that on Saturday, December 1, 2012, the last day of Felipe Calderón’s term, it will mount exhibits of hundreds of handkerchiefs embroidered with the names of those killed, missing and threatened throughout the administration. These exhibits will be mounted not only in various Mexican cities but abroad. In a statement, the activists said that these pieces of cloth embroidered by bereaved families are “the true memorial to victims of the war against organized crime” and are the symbol with which they want to bid farewell to the Calderón presidency.
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The project aims, in their own words, “to embroider hope and memory.” When they get a considerable number of embroidered handkerchiefs, they will be display them in public squares all over the country.
On a warm day during May, a group of women knitting, sitting, talking, draw the attention of onlookers who come closer: three young men from Barcelona, Aram, Gabriel and William.
– What are you doing? – they ask the women.
– We are embroidering for peace-, the women answer in chorus.
– So is it true that you are at war? … –
– Not only at war, they have taken our children … –
They are mothers, sisters and relatives of missing people, who come together in the collective LUPA (Fight for Love, Truth and Justice, Nuevo León), and they meet every Thursday at 10 am, at the kiosk Lucila Sabella, at the Macroplaza in Monterrey.
Teresa Vera is stitching on a side street of the Plaza. Alfredo, a member of the Fuentes Rojas (Red Fountains) movement, embroiders cloth. The threads tell of the unidentified body that was found near the University of Cuernavaca March 5, 2012. “In less than a year there have been more than 60 dead in this city alone. The disappeared are even more,” Alfredo says.
He encourages people to stitch a handkerchief, in a sort of collective embroidery to give names to the number of dead. Teresa’s handkerchief is number 826 of the 63,000 planned to be embroidered all over the country. Their quantity echoes the number of fatal victims in this war for the last six years.