How to stop violence?

Mexico deserves a different path towards peace, where proposals turn into concrete actions and not just empty talk

How to stop violence?
Crosses to remember femicide victims in Ciudad Juárez, where AMLO inaugurated his peace forums – Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL
English 08/08/2018 09:09 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:10

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The incoming government's motto is to end the violence that has devastated the country during the last two presidencies. Andrés Manuel López Obrador has offered to face the problem in a different way, in the face of the current strategy's poor results, which is nothing more than a virtual war against criminal groups, in which the military takes part. The biggest challenge is finding another path towards peace.

Yesterday, the forums started with this purpose, which is looking to find a way towards “national peace and reconciliation”. A call was made to experts, victims, church members, civic organizations' representatives, and future officials, among others.

Among the proposals outlined by the next administration, as part of their policies to end violence, there is an amnesty to benefit minors who were recruited by drug dealers or farmers who work in opium fields, but it won't benefit murderers or torturers, as well as debating the legalization of weed and the opium cultivation, purge police forces, and to gradually move away the military from the security tasks.

The forums to discuss the various options to end insecurity are not new. In the last years, the criminal situation has been widely discussed by civil organizations and experts in different forums. During Felipe Calderón's government, he led the so-called “Peace Dialogues” in the Chapultepec castle, and where civil society took part.

There are exact diagnoses and proposals to revert the situation, but there hasn't been a change of direction. It's necessary to go from talk to action.

Mexico has registered over 37,000 disappearances and 200,000 murders in the last decade, and last year it set a record with 31,174 intentional homicides, the country deserves a different path towards peace, where the proposals turn into concrete actions and it's not just empty talk.

In any solution, both the government and society would take the leading roles. The government has to correct what they're doing wrong and what they're contributing to perpetuating the problem. Society needs to look in the mirror to modify attitudes that are not legal.

Attacking violence with a fire and blood strategy hasn't produced the desired results. The public policies adopted should be different, transparent, believable, and deliver results in the short term. This challenge is no easy task.

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