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Mexican bishop proposes ‘social pact’ with drug dealers

#Mexican #bishop #proposes #social #pact #drug #dealers

A Mexican bishop has proposed a “social pact” that would involve drug dealers to combat violence, prompting calls for a reconsideration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s security policy.

The pact is necessary so that “all of society and even criminals can somehow join in,” Sigifredo Noriega, bishop of the violent state of Zacatecas, told the Milenio newspaper.

Questions about Lopez Obrador’s security strategy have increased since two Jesuit priests were murdered June 27 at a church in northern Chihuahua state.

Mexican Catholic bishops urged the government to “review failing security strategies” after the attack.

On Monday, the Mexican Bishops’ Conference said it was committed to “dialogue to build a path of justice and reconciliation that will lead us to peace.”

Lopez Obrador this week defended his security policy, which has focused on tackling the root causes of violence, including poverty.

He said Tuesday that while he supports forgiveness, his government “does not negotiate with criminals.”

More than 340,000 people have been killed in a spiral of bloodshed since 2006, when the then-government deployed the army to fight drug cartels.

The government blames most deaths on gangs involved in crimes such as drug trafficking, fuel theft, kidnapping and extortion.

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