Five peace forums, which were meant to see president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador visit a number of states to speak to locals and encourage a reconciliation across the country, have been cancelled by the incoming governmental team.
The meetings were meant to take place in the states of Veracruz, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Tabasco and Morelos, all of which are not unknown to increasing crime rates and brutal violence.
The meetings were intended to allow a space for victims of violence and crime, specialists in crime reduction and a number of Morena policymakers to come together with AMLO to further understand the situation.
It is believed that the decision to cancel the forums was made in a bid to bring in a more formalised method of documenting the topics that were discussed, according to a quote by politician Alfonso Durazo in Animal Politico. According to the report, people can still submit testimonies online and a new process for collecting statements and suggestions from local residents will be released soon.
AMLO has already completed around 16 forums across the country in an attempt to explore the ways in which peace and national reconciliation can be achieved within the country. According to his press team, the forums have also addressed the differing needs of the population.
With this year predicted to count Mexico’s highest murder rate in the country’s modern history, an ongoing battle has been waged between police, politicians and civilians against organised crime groups that are pillaging Mexico’s towns. The abundance of recent attacks tends to reveal the lengths cartels will go to if people don’t agree to turn a blind eye to criminal activity. Murder victims, having sometimes experience brutal attacks, have now stretched to include online bloggers who comment on cartel activity and journalists, of which the majority of cases continue unsolved.
This is combined with a substantial amount of impunity and a justice system that has left the majority of criminal cases unsolved. Combined with corruption allegations, it paints a picture of a country fraught with insecurity, which civilians are desperate to resolve.
The incoming president has been heralded for his approach towards local forums and speaking to the general population. It is unclear whether the online version of the forums will be as effective in consolidating his popularity across Mexico.