MEXICO CITY – President Enrique Peña Nieto launched Tuesday a national plan to address both the effects and the root causes of the gangland violence blamed for 70,000 deaths in Mexico over the past six years.
“Yes, it’s possible” to achieve peace, he said at an event in the central city of Aguascalientes.
Peña Nieto, who took office Dec. 1, established Tuesday a federal interdepartmental commission that will attempt to coordinate government efforts to repair the social fabric in areas that suffer the most violence.
The various official entities involved in the initiative have a combined annual budget of 118.8 billion pesos ($9.35 billion).
The president said that what is essential for having “a country at peace” is “for society to participate with its voice, with its opinion,” and with the experience of its communities, which have sometimes made up for the what the Mexican government has failed to do in matters of poverty, inequality and other social problems.
All actions of the program will be coordinated by Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, who also spoke at the Tuesday event.
“We will work at a national level with a great campaign that promotes a culture of peace” with strategies to prevent violence, substance addictions, domestic abuse, along with learning and behavior problems, he said.
To begin with, action has been planned for 251 municipalities or districts within major cities that have the worst security problems.
The targeted communities are concentrated in states like Coahuila, Chihuahua, Durando, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Guerrero and Michoacan. EFE