Mexico City – The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, made up of victims of the violence in Mexico, agreed with members of Congress to create a working committee to lay the foundation for a new national security law.
The movement resumed its dialogue on Wednesday with lawmakers after calling off talks on Aug. 3 in the wake of a lower house committee's approval of the proposed National Security Law.
"The goal is to create a human and citizens security law," poet Javier Sicilia, the movement's leader, said.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations, academics and lawmakers will join the working committee, whose job will be to review the options in the security area and propose alternative legislation to Congress.
Sicilia's movement called at a July 28 meeting with legislators for the scrapping of the public safety bill President Felipe Calderon proposed in April 2009.
The movement considers the bill, which was approved by the Senate, to be detrimental to citizens' rights.
Calderon proposed a wide-ranging plan to Congress that outlines the rules governing his controversial policy of using the military in law enforcement.
The president has maintained that the military must have the lead role in the drug war for the time being because municipal and state police have been thoroughly corrupted by well-funded cartels.
"We all have a role in these negotiations," Sicilia said after the five-hour meeting with lawmakers.
Congress should come up with legislation "based on human and citizen safety, one that is solely compatible with public liberties," Sicilia said.
The legislation must focus on ending the violence, which some estimates say has claimed the lives of about 50,000 people, and achieving peace, the poet said.
Calderon's proposal "opens the way for the permanent militarization of the nation's public life," Sicilia said.
The poet has led several marches to demand peace in Mexico and an end to Calderon's militarization of the war on drugs.
Over the weekend, Sicilia repeated the pledge he made in April to not write any poetry until there was peace in Mexico.
The poet's 24-year-old son, Juan Francisco, and six other young men were murdered by the violent Pacifico Sur drug cartel in the central state of Morelos on March 27.
The Calderon administration denies the charges leveled by Sicilia and other peace activists.
The government has not militarized the war on drugs and the armed forces have not left their barracks and taken over the streets, federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire said earlier this year.
The majority of army troops and marines "are not assigned to operations fighting organized crime," Poire said, adding that "the violations that have occurred have been incidental, have been punished and are not the result of a structural matter."
Human rights groups have reported a rise in violations committed by military personnel engaged in the war against Mexico's drug cartels.