MEXICO CITY – The number of murders committed in Mexico fell “some 7 percent in the first half of this year,” compared to the same period in 2011, and a downward trend is being seen “for the first time in several years,” President Felipe Calderon said Thursday.
Deaths linked to violence between criminal organizations have fallen “close to 15 percent,” Calderon told the 33rd session of the National Public Safety Council, or CNSP.
“Month after month (in the first half of 2012), we have seen a decrease in homicides with respect to the same month last year,” Calderon said.
Twenty-two of the 37 most dangerous leaders of criminal organizations have been “captured or killed” during the current administration, whose term ends this year, the president said.
These successes are a result of the security policy implemented by the government, Calderon told the CNSP, whose members include state governors, Cabinet members and representatives of civil society.
The change from “a reactive model to a preventive one” was among the most important changes, making it possible to have “a civilian option in security matters,” the president said.
The progress made will eventually allow the army to play “a subsidiary and supplementary” function, a role different than the one it has played since late 2006, when soldiers took the lead in providing security in the areas most plagued by drug-related violence, Calderon said.
Since taking office on Dec. 1, 2006, the security crisis, with criminal organizations getting stronger and public institutions becoming weaker, has been turned around, the president said.
“The challenge today is to consolidate these positive effects beyond governments, situations and parties. I call for us from this national council to continue the process that our generation began in the search for a Mexico of laws, order and security for everyone,” Calderon said.
This is the last National Public Safety Council session that Calderon, whose successor will take office on Dec. 1, will lead.
Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, will be Mexico’s next president if the TEPJF electoral court certifies the results of the July 1 presidential election.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the leftist Progressive Movement coalition, has challenged the results of the presidential election, alleging that the PRI exceeded campaign spending limits and engaged in vote-buying with funds obtained from illicit sources. EFE