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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
Mexicans march against abductions
Silent march in Mexico
Many held pictures of victims of violent crime
Hundreds of thousands of people have held a rally in Mexico City to protest against kidnappings and violent crime.

Demonstrators marched silently through the centre of the capital as they also paid tribute to crime victims.

Kidnappings are rife in the city and many abductions go unreported because of a lack of faith in the justice system, correspondents say.

Mexico has the second-highest number of kidnappings in the world, with some 3,000 reported cases last year.

Colours of mourning

The non-political march - hailed as the largest in the capital's history - was called by more than 80 non-governmental organisations and groups.

We cannot leave our houses - our children cannot play in the street
Clementina Gonzalez,
protester

Most of the people were wearing white clothes, responding to organisers' calls before the rally.

Participants filled the capital's central square and adjacent streets.

Instead of chanting, many demonstrators shared stories how they had been victims of violent crime.

They later pinned black ribbons to their white clothes in memory of crime victims.

"We have all been kidnapped by fear," Clementina Gonzalez, one of the marchers, told the Associated Press news agency.

"We cannot leave our houses. Our children cannot play in the street. If that's not kidnapping, what is?" the 60-year-old housewife added.

Shortly before the rally, Mexican President Vicente Fox urged congress to approve his reforms of the country's archaic and inefficient justice system.


SEE ALSO:
Giuliani targets Mexico crime wave
14 Jan 03  |  Americas
Mexico's drugs battle intensifies
03 Apr 03  |  Americas
Country profile: Mexico
10 Jul 03  |  Country profiles



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