Mexico's President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, better known as AMLO, will begin a series of 'popular consultations' next month to discuss his proposals to fight drug crime through negotiation and amnesties, the program coordinator said.
AMLO, a leftist who won the presidency by a landslide and is scheduled to take office on December 1, has suggested "transitional justice" to stem the violence resulting from 12 years of militarized drug war. The plan could include truth commissions, special courts, reparations for victims and reduced sentences for low-level offenders. The idea is to move forward with public support, AMLO and his team have said.
From August through November, he will hold discussion forums with victims and the general public in some of Mexico's most violent cities, program coordinator Loretta Ortiz told Reuters. If Mexicans embrace the approach, it will go in 2019 to Congress, where Lopez Obrador's allies have a majority.
Ortiz said her team is still forming a plan for measuring the public response: "The consultation results will generate the public policies we will implement for peacekeeping. The road to peace for the country is this one," she said.
In the beginning, the war on drugs declared by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon was promoted as the solution to cartels, crime and violence; however, the strategy quickly became counter-productive.
Since December 2006, after Calderon, a member of the National Action Party, announced his so-called war against drug trafficking, more than 80,000 people have been killed or disappeared. Human rights groups and several journalists say the true death toll is over 100,000. Among the victims are civilians, criminals, police, officials and soldiers.