Crime & Justice

Lopez Obrador backs appeal to Mexico’s cartels to end violence

Mexico City, May 30 (EFE).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador endorsed Tuesday an appeal from a woman active in the search for Mexico’s missing persons that the country’s powerful organized crime factions agree among themselves to resolve their conflicts without violence.

“I am in agreement,” the president, known as AMLO, said during his daily morning press conference about the open letter to the cartels from Delia Quiroa, a member of the 10 de Marzo group of families searching for missing loved ones.

“That’s what we all want, that there is no violence, that there are no homicides, that there is no aggression because it affects everyone,” AMLO said.

Some of the more than 112,000 people officially listed as missing likely correspond to the 52,000 unidentified bodies unearthed from clandestine graves that were discovered thanks many to the efforts of organizations such as 10 de Marzo.

Quiroa, who has been searching since 2014 for her brother, asked the leaders of nearly a dozen criminal outfits, including the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels, to sign onto a Social Pact to Prevent and Eradicate the Disappearance of People in Mexico and Promote Peace.

“If that is the proposal, an exhortation not to act violently, of course I support it,” AMLO said.

Urging criminals to behave “as good citizens,” he insisted that “there are always solutions for those who don’t want to use violence.”

Without citing any figures, the president said that his administration’s social programs have succeeded in steering significant numbers of young people away from crime.

Battles among rival crime groups and between criminals and authorities often lead to deaths of innocent bystanders.

“Violence is irrational and we will continue seeking peace,” AMLO said.

The first two years of AMLO’s administration, 2019 and 2020, were the deadliest on record in Mexico, with 34,990 and 34,554 homicides, respectively.

The number of murders dropped in succeeding years and was below 31,000 in 2022. EFE csr/dr

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