Legalized drugs, stronger gun control and reducing punishment for criminals. These are some of the proposals set forth by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s newly-elected president.
“Abrazos, no balazos” – which translates to “hugs, not bullets” – was the primary campaign slogan coined by Lopez Obrador in the midst of his presidential run.
In an interview with Reuters, Olga Sanchez, Lopez Obrador’s proposed interior minister stated that the administration’s plan of “transitional justice” to halt the progress of Mexico’s deadly drug cartels would involve “leniency for those who admit guilt, truth commissions to investigate atrocities and the granting of reparations for some victims.”
“Not only will it be amnesty, it will be a law to reduce jail time,” Sanchez told Reuters. “We will propose decriminalization, create truth commissions, we will attack the causes of poverty, we will give scholarships to the youth, and we will work in the field to get them out of the drug situation.”
This plan has been susceptible to considerable criticism. Lopez Obrador has also announced absurdedly that he does not plan on using armed security to protect him because he believes that the citizens of Mexico will defend him. This plan is reckless as there have been over 130 political assassinations in Mexico in the last nine months.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies ranked Mexico as the second deadliest country in the world in 2016 as Mexico’s drug wars claimed 23,000 lives that year.