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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NEWS & POLITICS - Mexico in peace

President Felipe Calderón and writer Javier Sicilia met to discuss the security problem in Mexico
BY CARMEN MARTÍNEZ

President Felipe Calderón said that regarding the battle against insecurity, the “most irresponsible thing to do” would have been not to act in due time. “If one must ask for forgiveness, one must do so to the victims that we were not able to save, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t acted against those criminals that have caused the deaths,” the President said.

Last Thursday, during a meeting with members and representatives from society in insecurity matters, the President said that he does not regret having acted with federal forces against criminals that,in his words, nobody fought because of fear.

At Chapultepec Castle, after attentively listening to writer Javier Sicilia, President Calderón said that for the rest of his administration, he will be willing to change the security strategy and noted that his job is to ensure peace in Mexico with justice and dignity.

Accompanied by First Lady Margarita Zavala and the Secretary of the Interior, José Francisco Blake Mora, the Secretary of Public Security, Genaro García Luna, the Secretary of Education, Alonso Lujambio, the Secretary of Social Development, Heriberto Félix, and the head of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), Marisela Morales, the President said that he is deeply concerned about the country and feels the pain of Mexico.

“People say that acting against this violence was irresponsible, but I tell you, the truly irresponsible thing to do would have been not acting when necessary,” he said. He admitted, though, that every single person that works for the government can be held accountable for not doing their jobs to protect the lives of the victims of the rampaging violence in the country.

“However, I tell you again: I do not regret this battle nor having sent our federal forces to combat crime. I had to do that because, out of fear, or corruption, people would not fight them,” he noted.

NOT A WARMONGERING PRESIDENT

Then, the President talked to Sicilia himself: “There is one thing I do regret, and that is not having sent forces to Cuernavaca to catch the people that killed your son.”

The President noted that removing the federal forces will not end the violence that has struck several areas in the country. He also noted that regarding the insecurity problem, he is open to input and even criticism. “Sometimes people criticize the job we’re doing … I want to make clear: I’m not a warmongering President,” he added.

President Calderón said that his government has made it its priority to end the violence at all costs through the creation of a three-point strategy: facing crime, strengthening and purging security agencies, and offering better opportunities to the youth. He recognized that although he has had differences with writer Javier Sicilia regarding the battle against insecurity, he said that he is saddened by the loss of human lives to criminal groups. “It burdens my heart. Every victim of this struggle saddens me equally,” he added.

He said that the deaths of Juan Francisco Sicilia, José Martí, and the daughter of the Nelson Vargas family, among many others, as well as the deaths of members of the federal forces that have fallen in the line of duty, trouble him every day, but force him not to falter in this battle.

He pointed out that the current strategy against insecurity, in which federal forces are directly involved, is the right method to combat crime and noted that in spite of criticism, he has a duty to fulfill.

“I do not act upon my own accord, but I do so because I have a duty to fulfill. … I’m willing to change this strategy once we have painstakingly analyzed what really needs to be changed,” he concluded.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

Writer Javier Sicilia said that the point of attending the meeting with President Calderón was to reach a consensus in creating a strategy that would ensure peace in the country. He also said that the government has a debt to the citizenry and the victims of crime.

He pointed out that the State is not doing enough to protect the people, and the actions that have been carried out have been incorrect. He took the opportunity to present several initiatives to protect the population at large and attend to the needs of victims. Sicilia noted that it is the President’s job to propose the creation of an autonomous citizen’s organization that would monitor the process of politics in the country and ensure the acknowledgment of crime victims.

The writer said that the problems President Calderón is facing regarding the battle against insecurity have to do with the past administration. “The man before you was supported by the population, but failed to create relevant constitutional reforms or the necessary policies to curb the violence problem,” said Sicilia. “The strategy that has been implemented in this administration has not helped the citizens at all and must be changed.”

“The government has an obligation to us. The current strategy just doesn’t work anymore. The cartels are growing stronger and the government agencies are deteriorating even further. It is time to change,” Sicilia added.
Source: The News