A demonstrator with his face painted takes part in a march in Mexico City on Sunday. (Reuters)

Twelve people died in a gun battle along the Mexican border with Texas on Monday. In a nearby state, 11 decapitated bodies and 22 other remains were found in a mass grave site. The drug war in Mexico continues its bloody march through the country.

Last week thousands of people marched from Cuernavaca, the capital of Mexico's Morelos state, to Mexico City's Zocalo square to protest the violence that has erupted in the country since President Felipe Calderon launched a drug war against gangs in late 2006. The marchers say that 38,000 have been lost in the battle with drug lords.

The countrywide protest was sparked by the March 28 slaying of Juan Francisco Sicilia, the son of poet Javier Sicilia. He was killed by suspected drug traffickers.

“If we have walked and arrived here in silence it’s because our pain is so great and so profound, and the horror that causes it so immense, that there are no words to describe it,” Sicilia said in a speech reported by the Associated Press. “We still believe that it is possible to the country to be reborn and rise from ruin and show the agents of death that the sons and daughters of this country are standing up.”

A demonstrator’s hand reads “No more.” (Eduardo Verdugo/AP)