• He welcomed civil society’s commitment to tackling the challenge of achieving a significant reduction in levels of violence.
• The government has appropriated what civil society has been promoting, and the causes it has supported, he declared.
• Last year saw the implementation of the Professionalization Program, which has made it possible to advance the training of public security corporations, he declared.
• The president led the 4th National Forum: "Let’s Join Forces. For security, citizens + police.”
As he led the 4th National Forum, "Let’s Join Forces. For security, citizens + police,” President Enrique Peña Nieto confirmed the government’s political will and commitment to ensuring that together, civil society, its organizations and legislators, “Advance in this great challenge of providing security to all Mexican families.”
He explained that the government has appropriated what civil society has been promoting, and the causes it has supported.”
He said that the government has been working to increase the professionalization of public security corporations.
The president reported that last year, the Professionalization Program was implemented, which has made it possible to advance the training more of its members, and that a management training program was implemented. "This reflects the demands for the implementation in June of next year of the New Penal System, enshrined in our Constitution."
In Chapultepec Castle, President Peña Nieto said that without proper training for the country’s police organizations, “This model would have been scarcely able to achieve the objective it has set, which is to provide society with prompt, expeditious and transparent justice through oral trials through this new system.”
Noting that in some states there is, “A real, effective strengthening and truly remarkable progress in what governments have achieved and promoted to improve performance within their local police forces,” there are, “Other states that are lagging far behind, that are not in harmony or in line with this joint effort we have planned.”
He said that there are certainly examples in the country that have become benchmarks of success. He said he has been a decrease in the levels of violence, and less intentional homicides committed in general throughout the country. He cited the cases of states such as Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, which are very different today. ”Although it is true we have not yet reached the desired levels we have set as our targets, there has been progress. But we cannot stop our efforts,” he said.
He said that progress has also been made to improve conditions for the police through various policies to provide them with more credits, supports and subsidies, “Particularly at the federal level to enable them to purchase houses and especially to reward the efforts of good policemen.” He said that more ways will be sought to recognize and reward, “The truly stoic efforts of many policemen and policewomen who risk their lives every day to provide security to Mexican society.”
The president said that the Federal Government has been consistently supportive of local governments to support them in their efforts to improve law and order and lower the levels of violence and crime in every state.
“And this is also an occasion to repeat what I have pointed out and shared with the governors more than once: this is not only the government’s task. It is a task that involves the efforts of all orders of government: federal, state and municipal,” he said.
He noted that the government, “Does not shirk its responsibility, it fully assumes it. However, it does not seek to replace or substitute local governments’ obligations.”
He stressed that this task involves everyone, and all levels of government, “And we all have the responsibility to achieve what is already part of a cause of various civil society organizations, which I value and acknowledge and whose presence I appreciate: to improve safety conditions for Mexican society.”
The president said that, “This is the issue and perhaps the greatest demand by Mexican society, which has led to the creation of various civil society organizations to promote and join governments’ efforts, and together to undertake the task of achieving a significant reduction in the levels of violence, which were observed in our country until recently.”
We must complement each other’s efforts, he said, noting his interest in the proposals presented at this forum by Maria Elena Morera, President of Citizens for a Common Cause, so that, with the participation of state governments, “We will work towards the same goal, on the same frequency, in great harmony, and subject to public scrutiny and the constant evaluation that comes from society itself.”
“The government does not shy away from this. On the contrary, it supports the demands of society and civil society organizations to always be subjected to an evaluation and to appreciate the progress made, recognize what we need to focus greater efforts on and where we need to improve,” he declared.
SECURITY IS CERTAINLY A MATTER FOR ALL MEXICANS; LET US WORK TOGETHER TO HAVE THE SECURITY WE ALL DESERVE: MARÍA ELENA MORERA
President of Citizens for a Common Cause María Elena Morera Mitre said that President Peña Nieto’s presence at the 4th Forum reflects his, “Interest and commitment to engaging in dialogue with civil society to improve security and jointly construct the institutions we need.”
Mentioning the various problems within the country’s police forces, which shows, she said, that the police are vulnerable to external as well as internal factors, she highlighted the president’s desire for, “All Mexicans to live in peace and freedom. For the country to grow and progress for everyone's benefit.”
María Elena Morera submitted five proposals to the president, including the restructuring of the Ministry of Public Security, implementing and following up on the Council’s agreements and resolutions, and verifying compliance with the law, the accountability of the country’s governors, and improving police training, among other aspects.
”We are convinced that our proposals will help to reach our goal, and that your leadership is crucial to ensuring that everyone assumes their responsibility," she said, to ensure that security is indeed a matter for all Mexicans. She concluded by saying, “Let us work together to build a police force that is respected and respectable, and to have the security we all deserve.”
THE MERIDA INITIATIVE FOCUSES LARGELY ON THE PROFESSIONALIZATION OF THE POLICE FORCES: WILLIAM DUNCAN
William H. Duncan, U.S. Embassy Mexico City chargé d’affaires announced that, “A large part of the Merida Initiative programs is focused on the professionalization of the police forces,” and hoped that as progress is made in the implementation of these joint projects, it will be possible, “To build a stronger hemisphere that offers its citizens better opportunities for economic, educational and social development.”
He said that since 2008, “Mexico and the United States have been working together within the framework of the Merida Initiative to strengthen the institutions responsible for monitoring security and justice.”
He said that the Let’s Join Forces National Forum, “Is a true demonstration of the commitment of all sectors of society to ensuring that the officials responsible for the administration of justice are properly prepared for the new criminal justice system.”
He said that other areas of cooperation include support for research on the trust control system and the efforts of organizations such as Common Cause, which seeks to promote citizen participation and strengthen the public’s confidence in institutions.
”On behalf of the American Embassy in Mexico, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and admiration for the excellent work done by many of you who have joined us here today, and for your great achievements. We hope to continue advancing our collaboration, by supporting professionalization, transparency and greater citizen participation,” he said.
ALL THE GOVERNMENTS IN THE COUNTRY ARE OBLIGED TO JOIN FORCES FOR SAFETY: MIGUEL ÁNGEL MANCERA
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa explained that all the governments in the country and all those responsible for directing different territories are obliged to join efforts in the national security strategy.
After acknowledging the coordination work of the Interior Ministry, through its support for strengthening the justice enforcement and administration structures in the different regions of the country, he said that the challenge is to advance and take the next step through the full implementation of the Accusatory System.
He also highlighted the leadership from the President’s Office, and, “The effort and support being given to local governments.” He added that there are also enormous challenges in the field of communication: “We must tell society how the accusatory system is going to work; we must tell society how it should file complaints, and how it has to appear in court to achieve successful results.”
Miguel Ángel Mancera said that the forum that begins today will, through open, responsible dialogue, make it possible to progress and, “Adopt new approaches and find new ways of citizen communication to achieve security throughout the country.”