Mexico City – Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a prominent poet who has led a campaign calling for an end to the country's bloody drug war agreed to create a tracking commission to work on the proposals presented Thursday by victims of violence.
After more than three hours of dialogue with Javier Sicilia, who heads the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, and victims of violence, Calderon said he was open to "reviewing" his security strategy.
He also accepted Sicilia's proposal to create a commission to "work on behalf of the victims" as well as on a new security strategy.
The president likewise agreed to meet again in three months with the poet, whose son was murdered by gangsters in late March.
"I'm willing to make changes," said Calderon, who added that to do so he would need to "see clearly" the direction in which to direct his strategy to fight organized crime, an effort in which the military is playing the central role.
He said that when he came to power in December 2006 he could not halt the fight against the criminals while he waited for political reform or a purge of "rotten institutions" and he had to act with the resources he had, that is to say with the military, seen as less corrupt than the nation's jumble of law enforcement agencies.
Since then some 40,000 people have died amid a conflict pitting rival drug cartels against each other and the security forces.
Calderon, who apologized for the deaths of innocent victims in the drug war, reiterated his willingness to seek "peace with justice and dignity" while continuing to fight the criminals.
Sicilia told the president that they were not questioning "your attack on the criminals" and reiterated that the problem is having launched a "war with rotten institutions."
"Where are the gains from the (current) strategy?" the poet and journalist asked.
"There's not a single indicator" of any such gain, he said, calling for measures besides "nourishing this police and military machinery."