Mexicans paint murals to highlight crime problem

September 11th, 2012 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Guadalajara (Mexico), Sep 11 (IANS/EFE) Around 100 inhabitants of a crime-ridden neighbourhood of this metropolis in western Mexico have painted murals as a plea for greater security for their families.

The locals are using the walls to request an end to the incessant robberies, murders and street-gang brawls in their area, one of the project’s organisers, Rosalio Lopez Casanova, told EFE.

“There have even been murders here, and we see this project as a peaceful way for local residents to say we’ve had enough,” he said.

Armed with paintbrushes and paint cans, children and adults in the Los Colorines housing development took to the streets and began daubing colours on the walls of their buildings to express their yearning for peace.

Adolfo Nava Bustos, a member of the neighbourhood’s security committee, said that besides giving people a way to express themselves, painting murals is also a way for them to take back the streets, so often the scene of gang fights and drug trafficking.

“Having a more orderly space and with elements of art as well makes people feel safer and they actually want to go outdoors into the streets - it creates a healthier atmosphere,” he said.

Multicoloured lines representing a snake stretching around homes in much of the neighbourhood, and the image of a woman mourning with red handprints around her, are some of the creations covering close to 700 square meters of wall space.

In a second phase of the project, fences will be decorated with fragments of poems, with slogans calling for peace and with the lyrics of songs composed by young people of the neighbourhood.

The project is aided by two artists, who advise the locals on how to paint their murals, and by the Guadalajara municipal government, which donates the paint.

Nava said that the community is made up of some 500 families. It is located in a poor area of the city and has suffered increasing crime and violence.

–IANS/EFE
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