París | Lunes 16 de agosto de 2010
EFE | El Universal
Mexico's President Felipe Calderon said in a column published Monday, August 16, in the French daily newspaper Le Monde that his first objective is the security of Mexico and that this may "create an erroneous impression about the extent of the insecurity."
The column was a rebuttal to an earlier editorial printed on Wednesday, August 11, in Le Monde titled “Le Mexique miné par les barons de la drogue” or “Mexico undermined by the drug barons” that was harshly critical of President Calderon’s strategy in the fight against the drug cartels.
Le Monde’s editorial basically stated that Mexico has been greatly weakened by the infiltration of state institutions, the government and the security apparatus by drug cartels since the end of PRI rule in 2000. It concluded by saying that the PAN, Mexico’s ruling party since that year, has been unable to contain the drug cartels and that maybe the best scenario is for Mexico to return to authoritarian PRI rule in the 1012 elections.
In his rebuttal Calderon stated “What's really happening is that we are imposing order where there was none. So, if you see dust it is because we cleaning house." He added that when he came to power in 2006 he encountered security and justice institutions "weakened by co-optation and intimidation by criminal organizations."
The president acknowledges that the violent homicides have had much resonance in the world but explains that "this violence is due primarily to the struggle of criminal groups against other criminal groups and is also due to decisive action from the federal government, which weakens them and makes them more vulnerable to prosecution."
Calderón explained the five pillars of his administration’s strategy to curb crime and insecurity in Mexico, which decided to "confront the problem rather than avoid it."
First are measures supporting local authorities and citizens by strengthening the presence of the security forces in the affected areas of the country.
As result of this strategy, the security forces have seized "more than 84 000 guns in three years, which exceeds what the Government of Colombia has seized from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in last decade."
“In 2009, authorities arrested 70 top lieutenants from all the cartels,” Calderon continued, “and seized currency equivalent to 345 million Euros, and 46 billion doses of illegal drugs from criminal organizations.”
Second is the modernization of the operational and technical capabilities of the State; and third, judicial reforms of the legal system that adopt oral trials and a system of protection of the rights of victims, "a fundamental tool to finish with impunity once and for all.”
Fourth are measures to increase public confidence, "reinforcing security in schools, rescuing public spaces that were in the hands of criminals and creating centers for the prevention and treatment of drug addictions.”
Finally, Calderon stressed the importance of strengthening "international cooperation" because the drug problem requires "multinational strategies."
"The origin of the problem in Mexico stems from our proximity to the main consumer of drugs in the world, the United States, and the ease with which criminal organizations can acquire weapons in that country," said the Mexican president, who values the "new phase of cooperation with the United States."
Calderón ended the column with his appreciation for the “beginning of a new attitude on the part of all stakeholders that will find innovative ways, and a clear understanding of responsibility and the knowledge that together we will defeat this crime"