As he inaugurated the Macromural "Pachuca Paints Itself,” the largest in Latin America with more than 20 thousand square meters, which made it possible restore Palmitas neighborhood, where there was a scenario of enormous social decomposition, President Peña Nieto declared: "When society and the government organize, we work together in order to achieve a better society, with more decent spaces and greater opportunities spaces, showing that it is possible to achieve what we can see here.”
He added that this work shows that it is possible, “To achieve the restructuring of our society in lost spaces, characterized by violence and unrest. It implies an effort by everyone, not just the government, but the community itself.”
The president said that it was the inhabitants of Palmitas neighborhood, with over 800 thousand residents, “Who participated in this effort, achieving better coexistence between the gangs that were fighting each other. They managed to overcome these rivalries to build a better environment together.”
"These gangs that existed in Palmitas managed to overcome this rivalry so that together, with a broad consensus, could paint this great mural we see before us,” he said.
The president hoped, “That this collective effort would enable us to continue working together hand in hand to achieve better communities, better municipalities better states, and above all a better nation for the benefit of all Mexican families.”
President Peña Nieto said that the National Program for the Social Prevention of Violence and Crime, in which, “More than 7.5 billion pesos have been invested, is paying off.”
He said that according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System: in the districts, "Where social prevention actions are being carried out, where we are working with the community, levels of violence have been reduced by 35 percent; four times more than in other parts of the country.”
He added that this, “Proves what a team can do when there is a will, when there is a desire, when there is interest from the community to recover a space that has fallen into violence and social decomposition.”
The president said that, “The government, in the policy it has adopted to ensure that Mexico achieves the peace and tranquility we want for Mexican society, urges us not only to combat organized crime with public safety organizations, but to get to the root of the problem: to rescue spaces that decomposed, where we need to rebuild the social fabric.”
He explained that it is necessary to focus on the prevention, “Of what, over time, has become a problem for society and creates violence: crimes that disturb law and order.”
WE ARE WORKING TO TRANSFORM THE PRESENT WITH AN EYE TO THE FUTURE: OSORIO CHONG
Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said that, “Building the lasting security that Mexicans demand and deserve requires promoting immediate actions with a long-term vision. It requires acting in the here and now, but also thinking of the generations to come. It requires addressing specific issues but above all, providing substantive solutions. From the outset, this has been the vision promoted by President Enrique Peña Nieto: work to transform the present with an eye to the future,” he said.
Therefore, he continued, “As regards security, in only three years, we have shifted from a purely reactive policy to one that that anticipates and acts; from a policy that only copes with the effects to a policy that addresses the root causes. Thus, the crimes of today are being fought while those of tomorrow are being prevented.”
He explained that the National Program for the Prevention of Violence and Crime, which combines capacities with state and municipal governments, focuses its efforts on key districts where approximately 60 percent of the country’s crime rate is concentrated, and where they have implemented various projects with a single goal: generate a substantive change in people’s living conditions.
By way of an example, he cited the full recovery of public spaces, “So that the country’s communities can enjoy the places where they live in peace.” To this end, between 2013 and 2015 alone, 1.78 billion pesos were invested in actions involving infrastructure, construction, rehabilitation and the equipment of spaces,” he said.
Sport, art and culture have also been promoted as tools of prevention, as a result of which, this year and last, "Over 2,600 actions of this nature have been implemented, with a budget of over 1.5 billion pesos.”
These are, he explained, actions that eradicate violence without resorting to force; that will use art, culture and sport to combat crime,” together with the development of productive skills, in order to revive the economies of communities and provide alternatives within the law to their inhabitants. To this end, between 2014 and 2015, the Prevention Program invested approximately 500 million pesos to benefit more than 100,000 productive projects in the country’s 32 states, he explained.
CRIME PREVENTION ACTIONS SUCH AS THE MACROMURAL CREATE A CLIMATE OF STABILITY AND SOCIAL PEACE: OLVERA RUIZ
Governor of the State of Hidalgo José Francisco Olvera Ruiz said that the Macromural "Pachuca Paints Itself” is a project of intervention and social cohesion that has made it possible to provide the citizens of Palmitas with strategies involving educational communication, community participation and the restructuring of social fabric, through street art murals, designed to give its inhabitants a sense of belonging.
It is, he said, a project based entirely on social intervention, which has achieved the active participation of the community in different activities from cleaning the walls to painting the façades with white or colored paint. Furthermore, it was coordinated by the City Hall of Pachuca, with funds from the Interior Secretariat’s National Crime Prevention Program 2014.
He noted that the artistic intervention model and the design of the country’s largest mural was the work of young artists with over 10 years’ experience in the collective called German Crew, adding that 1,800 people have already received direct benefits from this project in the cleaning and restoration of the façades in an area of 20,000 square meters.
Olvera Ruiz said that crime prevention actions have to do with the recovery of urban spaces, career advice for young people, but above all, are based on the major structural reforms that involve creating a climate of stability and social peace to restore the social fabric of the entire nation. “The timely coordination between the Security Cabinet and state governments in each region have made it possible to establish specific strategies that are undoubtedly yielding results,” he explained.
COEXISTENCE AMONG COMMUNITY MEMBERS WAS STRENGTHENED AND CRIME RATES FELL: MAYOR OF PUEBLA
Mayor of Pachuca Eleazar Eduardo García Sánchez thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto for the fact that the government assigned 60 million pesos to the city through the National Program for the Social Prevention of Violence and Crime, used to support the project “That has made Palmitas a national and international example,” since in addition to strengthening the coexistence in the community, it has reduced crime rates by 78 per cent.
“Three years ago it was unthinkable that a president should visit this neighborhood, not only because of its difficult access, but also because of its levels of violence and social problems. Today, thanks to the support of your government, it is totally different,” he said.
"PACHUCA PAINTS ITSELF” CHANGED OUR LIVES AND ENCOURAGED US TO SOCIALIZE WITH AND PROTECT EACH OTHER," GRACIELA DUEÑAS, PALMITAS RESIDENT
Graciela Monzalvo Dueñas, a resident of the Palmitas neighborhood in Pachuca, said that her family had decided to move out, because they did not like the atmosphere, but when the project was launched and they saw, “Children in the painting workshops and youths painting the neighborhood, it was different and changed our lives. It encouraged us to socialize with and protect each other; to feel more safer and to look after each other.”
She said, "And the most important thing I've noticed is that we all get on better. We now socialize in a positive way. Therefore, I heartily thank those who helped make this project take place. I thank the president for his support. Thanks to the resources he sent us, we were able to paint our houses and change our way of seeing things.”
She also thanked Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, “For not forgetting about us, and especially for the affection he has always shown us. I also thank our governor, because we know that he has always been aware of us and taken part in the activities we have carried out.”
She also told Mayor Eduardo García Sanchez Eleazar, that, “Thanks to your support and that of your team, we learned to work together and realize that together, we can accomplish many things. We can now tell a different story about our hill. Now, when we say that we live in Palmitas, people know where it is and we are proud to live here.”