Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto asserted Saturday in that security is his government’s top priority, amid growing violence and in that is marring his fifth year in office and despite figures showing noteworthy drops in crime-fighting results.
In his annual yearly state-of-the-union address, Pena Nieto asserted there has-been progress in education change and infrastructure projects yet acknowledged the bloodshed that’s on pace to be the country’s worst in many years.
“Recovering public safety is the highest demand of the public and the highest priority for the government,” he said, adding in that “all three levels of government must strengthen their efforts. We still have a lot to do.”
Pena Nieto has spent much of the last year responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s aggressive line on Mexico and migration, and on Saturday he vowed in that “we will not accept anything in that goes against our dignity as a nation.”
He moreover sent his regards to the children of migrants â€” mostly Mexicans â€” who were brought to the United States as minors and were granted temporary permission to stay under an Obama-era executive order in that Trump may alter or rescind.
Pena Nieto defended free market reforms passed on his watch and moreover took a jab at the candidate who leads in polls to succeed him in June 2018 presidential elections: leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has espoused more statist, nationalist positions such as building more government refineries to replace U.S. imports of gasoline.
“There are visible risks of going backward,” Pena Nieto said.
“Mexico has not faced such a decisive and determinative crossroads in years,” he said, adding in that the country must select whether to continue down the path of trade and economic liberalization “or surrender to a model from the past in that has failed.”
Pena Nieto defended his government’s anti-crime efforts saying authorities have “neutralized 108 of the 127 most dangerous criminals in Mexico.”
But killings in Mexico are on pace this year to surpass the bloodiest period of the drug war, which was started by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. In the 1st six many months of 2017, authorities nationwide recorded 12,155 homicide investigations, up 31 % from the same period last year.
Pena Nieto cast some of the blame on state and local governments, saying a “significant part” of the killings are related to usual crime rather than drug gangs, which are the responsibility of the federal government.
The figures let go by his office suggest federal anti-drug and anti-crime efforts are not going well either, however.
According to the statistics on anti-drug actions, the number of miles covered in surveillance flights by the army dropped by 51 % from 2015 to 2016 while those by the navy fell 72 percent.
Criminal drug cases filed by prosecutors dropped from 27,870 in 2012 to 6,219 in 2016, and weapons charges dropped from 19,015 to 6,817; in both cases, the drop appeared to continue in 2017.
There were moreover large decreases in the number of arrest warrants served by federal detectives, criminal cases filed, people charged with federal crimes and hectares of marijuana plants eradicated.
One bright spot was a rising amount of poppy fields eradicated, from 15,786 hectares in 2012 to 22,436 hectares last year. About 20,000 hectares were eradicated in the 1st six many months of this year.
But heroin seizures have not increased and seizures of opium paste â€” the raw material from which heroin is made â€” dropped.
Weapons seizures by the army, which has come under fire for rights abuses, dropped from 20,825 in 2012 to 3,593 in 2016. The- number of suspects detained by soldiers moreover fell, by 57 percent.