Hours before accepting a literary prize Saturday night in Spain, Carlos Fuentes, one of Mexico's most accomplished writers, spoke decisively about the country's crisis of violence and drug trafficking.
"They should decriminalize drugs and get help from the Israeli, French or German police forces who have proven effective in combating crime," he said.
The 82 year old Mexican writer, and social and political activist, acknowledged that he was stunned by the horrific "narco" attack at the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, that killed 53 people.
"Unless steps are taken to legalize drugs in coordination with the United States, which is the biggest drug market, and unless more effective internal police actions are forthcoming, the drug cartels will defeat the Mexican Army and the country's unarmed society," argued Fuentes.
The writer, along with former presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, Ernesto Zedillo, Carlos Gaviria and Fernando Cardoso, is part of a group working for a culture without drugs and favors the legalization "in principle, of their consumption."
"Drugs are a universal problem, not local, and we cannot argue about Mexican sovereignty because it has already been broken. So why not then appeal to the most effective police groups to assist in dealing with these gangs that only understand the language of violence?"