Mar 15, 2012

Drug War: Lopez Obrador vows to end the war on drugs by creating jobs

La Jornada: If I become president, “we’re going to stop the war (against organized crime) and there will be procurement of justice. We are not going to use this strategy, because it has not produced results. There will be employment, we’ll battle corruption and calm down the country, we know how to do it, I’m sure,” affirmed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador yesterday. 

In a press conference at the close of a private forum with security specialists and human rights defenders organized by Bernardo Batiz, who was presented as the future Attorney General if Lopez Obrador wins the elections, the presidential pre-candidate of the coalition Progressive Movement promised to end impunity.

“We’re going to do things differently, calling on everyone without imposing anything, without acting in an authoritarian way. We’re calling for reconciliation. We don’t want vengeance, we want justice,” he added.

Justice that would be applied humanely, Batiz explained, and not used for politics or publicity.

Lopez Obrador said that “politicians that want to resolve everything through the use of the media are responsible for the lack of security and violence, because they have not established justice, employment and wellbeing.”

And “when there’s a lack of public safety and violence, the only thing they do is stand in front of the camera with a serious face and say, ‘I will not back down, there will be an iron-fist approach.’ But what good is that if the root causes are not addressed?”

The precandidate of the leftwing coalition questioned the fact that faced with the situation they “look the other way and, continue a policy that produces poverty, resentment, hate, hostility, insecurity and violence; they want to resolve it with wars, threats of a crackdown and PR stunts.

“How are those who have no moral authority, who are dishonest and corrupt, going to guarantee justice? With what moral authority can they ask others to do right if they don’t do it themselves? And furthermore they let established interest groups make decisions just like in the past in this country.”

When asked about the case of Florence Cassez, the French citizen sentenced a 60 years in prison for kidnapping, he said he would make changes that would not allow for such an “embarrassing situation to occur. Batiz would be incapable of staging a show for publicity ends and falsifying evidence to condemn someone or try an alleged delinquent.”

The former city attorney general stated that Lopez Obrador’s platform aims to bring more peace and respect for the human rights of victims, witnesses and alleged delinquents. “We propose to move from a war where there are enemies to a justice system with humane criteria and no michoacanazos.”[ed. Mass arrests of politicians in the state of Michoacan criticized for being politically motivated and later thrown out of the courts for lack of evidence].

Strict law enforcement against those who commit crimes, “taking into account that the constitutional principle of social rehabilitation applies, as well as the presumption of innocence” because the use of arbitrary measures and force “brings bigger problems, at a higher social cost in lives and in the erosion of community,” he added.

Bernardo Batiz promised there would not be harsher laws, or more prisons or more soldiers in the streets. Nor “complicity with anybody”, or special treatment when it comes to certain criminals.

“If one thinks that the justice system is for television, if it’s used for media impact, and goes from being an action that should be strictly based on law to a spectacle, then we are on the wrong track,” he stated." Spanish original  

By Alma E. Muñoz

Translation: Americas Program 

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