September 1, 2008

Downtown Mexico City has sparkled with a sea of twinkling lights late as some 200,000 white-clad protesters have joined the largest in a wave of nationwide protests against surging crime.

Scores of towns and cities took part in the “Iluminemos Mexico” or “Let’s Illuminate Mexico” silent marches to show a united front against escalating kidnappings and murders.

Violence has spiked since President Felipe Calderon, who took office at the end of 2006, launched a crackdown on drug trafficking and related attacks, including the deployment of more than 36,000 soldiers across the country.

Police say 200,000 people attended the Mexico City protest as thousands spilled out of the capital’s main Zocalo square, which has a capacity of 160,000.

They sang the national anthem together before putting out their candles at 8:30 pm local time.

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