The "pacification" controversy proposed by Lopez Obrador
by Alberto Najar
Peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, amnesty, legalization. Some of the key words in the strategy of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to end violence for the war against drug trafficking.
The proposal is prepared with the participation of experts, civil organizations, victims and relatives of missing persons, through a series of forums that begin this Tuesday in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
The objective is to build a peace process that allows reconciliation and, in many cases, to apply justice in homicides and the disappearance of people.
The level of impunity in these crimes, according to official data, is 98% on average.
In a country that lives an unprecedented wave of violence and where according to specialists this government can end up with more than 154,000 murders , the proposal causes controversy.
Part of the strategy includes, for example, legalizing the cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes and allowing the planting of poppies for pharmaceutical use.
There is also an amnesty process for some detainees or incarcerated for participating in drug trafficking.
nother element is to create truth commissions to resolve some of the most controversial cases in recent years, such as the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal .
And it seeks, in addition, the disarmament, the demobilization and reintegration of the members of organized crime.
"Sword of Damocles"
Some do not agree with the AMLO program, as the president-elect is known in Mexico.
Civil organizations such as the National Union of Parents of the Family (UNPF) warn that legalizing the production of marijuana is a wrong path.
"International experience shows the opposite, because criminals continue to sell on the black market ," warns the organization's spokesperson, Marco Tulio Mendoza.
Others like Salvador Abascal, of the Mexican Human Rights Commission, believe that it would increase consumption, especially in minors.
"The threat of drugs hangs like the sword of Damocles over our children and our grandchildren," he warns.
But in López Obrador's team they believe it is necessary to apply a different tactic to that of the last two governments , which privileged the military combat of drug trafficking.
"Two governments of failed security strategies force the next to make a modification," Loretta Ortíz, coordinator of the Advisory Council to Guarantee Peace, tells BBC Mundo.
It is the body responsible for organizing the series of meetings with civil society, called "Forums to trace the route of pacification of the country and national reconciliation."
"As López Obrador has said, this situation is not going to be resolved through more bullets and violence, it was shown to be unsuccessful."
The plan to end the violence will be concluded after 18 forums and citizen meetings to be held in various regions of the country, says Ortíz.
Some elements have been known since the election campaign, and others were added after the July 1 elections as the decision to create truth commissions to investigate and resolve some of the most serious cases of human rights violations .
One example is the clandestine graves located in the municipality of San Fernando, Tamaulipas, where according to civil organizations there may be hundreds of people.
Many were kidnapped while traveling by bus to the northern border. Others lived in neighboring communities.
The disappearances began in 2011, one of the most violent years in the war against drug trafficking. Authorities have suspended the search for bodies for several years.
Another truth commission will investigate the disappearance of 43 students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School in Ayotzinapa, on September 26, 2014.
Olga Sánchez Cordero, proposed as the next secretary of the Interior, says that the objective of these organizations is to find elements to punish those responsible for the massacres or disappearances.
"Everything, having as a central axis of this pacification the rights of the victims who have in this process, the right to the truth," he says.
This is one of the novel elements in the strategy designed by AMLO: to establish a system of transitional justice that allows for reconciliation.
The controversial amnesty
This transitional model is applied in countries that suffered armed conflicts, repression or crimes against humanity that their own justice system can not solve.
These are cases of serious human rights violations committed systematically.
"This has been happening in Mexico with these 12 years of war against drug trafficking," says Tania Ramirez, director of Drug Policy at the United Against Delinquency Organization (MUCD).
A justice system of this nature "would allow knowing the historical truth of what is happening in communities or populations affected by the war against drug trafficking."
From there, a memory process can be built that includes not only the repair of the damage, but also the guarantee to the victims of non-repetition of those events.
"Transitional justice has been used in many contexts throughout the world, particularly in Guatemala or Peru," explains Ramírez.
"More recently, it was key to the peace agreement in Colombia, there are many schemes, we have to see which one suits Mexico."
The strategy includes one of the most controversial proposals of the virtual president-elect: to amnesty some people who participate in the chain of organized crime .
It is, for example, peasants who grow marijuana or poppy because of economic need, or because they were forced by drug gangs.
It would also benefit young people forced to collaborate with criminals, or imprisoned for bringing a minimum dose of drugs, explains Loretta Ortíz.
Not the capos
In this process do not enter the heads of cartels, bands of fuel theft, murderers or kidnappers, for example.
"They are not subject to amnesty, no crime or offense linked to the use of violence will be amnestied, and even less when they are a crime it is against humanity."
The issue is particularly sensitive in the disappearance of at least 30,000 people during the war against drug trafficking , according to civil organizations.
There are few cases that have been resolved, most of them because their remains were located by groups of citizens who search in clandestine graves, sometimes only with their hands.
One of the proposals analyzed by the AMLO team is to promote a penalty reduction law, applicable to detainees who provide information to solve crimes or find missing persons.
It could be an alternative, because in these cases the issue is clear: reconciliation and eventual forgiveness requires n , first, an act of justice.
"It is like hitting, it goes together, it is concomitant: there is no talk of forgiveness or forgetfulness, and less in crimes against humanity."
"There can be no forgiveness or reconciliation if there is no justice first."
Re: The "pacification" controversy proposed by Lopez Obrador
I have my doubts that any of this will actually take place. It reminds me of the hard-hitting liberals wanting to eliminate ICE in the USA. They know it's a crazy suggestion, but it gets the attention they seek for political power.
The real outcome will be what the Peso does, he does not want to be responsible for a crash.