Photo: Javier Sicilia Meets with President Felipe Calderon
Mexican President Felipe Calderón met with representatives of the Peace Movement, including founder and poet Javier Sicilia, Julián LeBaron, María Herrera and others.
At the event, held in the historic Chapultepec Castle, the president was accompanied by the Interior Secretary, the Public Security Secretary, the Attorney General, the Public Education Secretary of the country and a Security Spokesman.
The president began his first address to this burgeoning peace movement by expressing his thanks for the opportunity to talk frankly about the security issue. He declared, referring to the name of this movement, that “We all want a Mexico with peace, justice and dignity.” After the highly publicized death of Sicilia son who was murdered, Sicilia has been calling for the government to give more attention to the victims of the violence in the country.
In speaking about the victims, the subject of Javier Sicilia’s first address, the president said that every victim of the violence in Mexico causes him pain, as it does to everyone. However, public opinion must not forget that this is caused by criminals’ action and that Federal Government’s actions are designed to combat criminals.
During the meeting at which the president answered and explained each of the observations made by the movement’s representatives, the president answered criticisms of his entrenched war with the country’s drug cartels and his strategy with the following words: “It would have been really irresponsible not to act.” He subsequently returned to the issue when he talked about corruption in law enforcement institutions. The president said that, in his capacity as president, he could not afford to wait for institutions to change in order to deal with the problem of security.
Throughout this dialogue, the president said that, “Without civic participation, it is impossible to reconstruct law enforcement institutions,” which are crucial to dealing with crime. He also urged citizens to break away from old paradigms on the issue of drugs and prejudices regarding security and encouraged citizens to join their voices in the quest for peace.