12 | NOV | 2019

Not just a matter of force

Mexico city
Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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OPINION: The index of homicides does not yield. The average of the first months of 2017 was similar to the average of the most violent years registered.

One of the many problems the country is facing is that of violence triggered by organized crime groups. It has been more than 10 years since it was decided that military forces would collaborate in the fight against drug gangs, and the results, unfortunately, have not been as expected.

The index of homicides does not yield. The average of the first months of 2017 was similar to the average of the most violent years registered.

There are states that have a momentary lapse of peace to then witness the resurgence of violence with equal or greater intensity.

There have been scenes of captures of cartel drug lords, but criminal organizations do not disappear; and if they do, shortly afterwards new smaller groups or others of equal size appear.

EL UNIVERSAL reports today that 107 - out of the 122 - priority targets of criminal gangs who were identified at the beginning of this sexennium have been captured, however, there is no decrease in violence rates. Experts consider that the desire to apprehend the heads of drug trafficking groups has led to a reproduction of several groups. Now, there is not only one organization, but it is fragmented into several, in addition to generating internal conflicts that affect the levels of violence.

A decade after adopting this strategy, the results say it is evident it has to be reviewed, corrected and new strategies must be added; also, some that have been relegated have to be consolidated.

The professionalization of police officers, for example, is an unfinished process. A few weeks ago the Secretary of the Interior acknowledged that only 50 of the 1,800 municipal police corporations are in a position to take on the task of providing security. There were set dates that have not been met regarding this matter, the lag is huge.

It is easier for states and municipalities to request military support than to take on commitments to build professional security bodies, with sufficient equipment, areas of intelligence and living wages.

In terms of marijuana legalization, Mexico seems to go behind what many countries are doing. In the United States, the country that most encourages Mexico to combat drug trafficking, several states have legalized ludic use; The UNO has also expressed itself in this regard.

The current strategy against narco does not have the expected results, why bother to give it the highest priority? It is necessary that the problem is approached from different areas to begin having a change. Overcoming crime is not just a matter of force.


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