Mexico: Dialogue with criminal groups out of question
Statements by interior secretary taken out of context, says Interior Ministry
Mexico sought to clear up comments made by its interior secretary that the government is in talks with criminal organizations.
Olga Sanchez Cordero's statements were misinterpreted, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a news conference Wednesday, according to Cuban state news agency Prensa Latina.
Sanchez "apparently referred to communities that organized armed self-defense groups sponsored by the previous government,” he said, noting the current government does not share the same strategy.
The president reiterated his government is not holding talks with members of organized crime gangs.
The national development plan includes "proposals to seek mechanisms to achieve peace.” he said.
The comments by Sanchez were taken out of context, according to the Interior Ministry on Tuesday.
Sanchez expressed "willingness today to hold dialogue with authentic self-defense organizations, to achieve the pacification of some areas of the country, the disarmament of those organizations and those who integrate them for the benefit of the communities and municipalities," the ministry said.
"The Federal Government of Mexico does not have nor will have a dialogue with any organized crime group," it added.
The allegations circulated in the media after Sanchez told reporters Tuesday: "We are in dialogue right now with many groups and they have already told us that they don't want to continue in this violence, they want to lay down their weapons and they want to walk toward peace."
Mexico has been besieged by deadly violence with drug cartels and criminal gangs fighting for control of territories.
The total number of victims of violent deaths since Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018 is approaching 20,000, according to the National Public Security System.
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