Drug Gang Declares Support for Anti-Violence Poet

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A banner signed by Mexican drug gang the Beltran Leyva Organization claims that the group supports Javier Sicilia, a poet who has been campaigning for an end to drug violence after his son was found murdered.

Since Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega was found dead in March along with six friends, in a killing thought to be carried out by drug traffickers, his father has led massive protests joined by tens of thousands of people across Mexico. Javier Sicilia has also met with President Calderon to demand the government cease its war on drugs, which many say has made violence worse.

The Gulf Cartel was at first blamed for the murders, but denied responsibility. The group handed over an individual to the authorities who reportedly confessed to the killings and admintted being part of a Beltran Leyva offshoot called the South Pacific cartel.

Now the plot has thickened further, with the appearance of a banner in the city of Cuernavaca on Monday, El Proceso reports. The message, purportedly from the Beltran Leyva Organization, claims that the group has nothing to do with the murders.

The text reads:

Enough of blaming the Beltran Leyvas and innocent people for the dirty actions of the government [illegible] to the inspector general of the republic, Marisela Morales, and El Grande, Sergio Villarreal, who is her protected witness, they are colluding in the death of Javier Sicilia [sic] to blame the Beltran Leyva.

Javier Sicilia can count on our support, the Beltran Leyvas do not kill innocent people, the South Pacific Cartel is an invention of El Grande and of El Negro Radilla, it belongs to El Grande and all the protected witnesses. Organized crime is the government, becuase they are untouchable. May the truth come to light!!

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