People in Mexico have taken to the streets en masse in a nationwide protest against a surge in kidnappings and brutal murders. More than 150,000 demonstrators, clad in white, took part in marches, calling on President Felipe Calderon to meet his promises to crack down on violent crime.
The protest was sparked by a recent case in which a 14-year-old boy was kidnapped and murdered, even though his father had paid a ransom. Mexico has one of the highest abduction rates in the world.
One demonstrator in Mexico city said: “We can’t let another four years pass and then have another demonstration like this. We need changes now. I want to live again in the Mexico that I experienced as a kid, when my mum let me play in the street. I love my country and I want a Mexico free from violence.”
Kidnappings have jumped by 40 percent in the past four years. Much of the violence is drug-related. More than 2,300 people have been killed this year alone. Most crimes go unsolved and analysts say the problem in compounded by corrupt police and justice officials.