Ana Maria – Today we have an interview with Alejandro Hope, he specializes on security issues he is now joining us and he is now an advisor to independent presidential candidate Margarita Zavala, and Alejandro you presented what I thought was a fascinating proposal, as to the steps that need to be immediately taken in order to confront this crime wave of violence that Mexico is going through, please share this proposal with our audience.
Alejandro Hope – Well thank you Ana Maria it’s a pleasure to meet with you as you know Mexico has a deficit on the social front, the police forces are inadequate, the criminal justice system is insufficient in comparison to other countries and its political system is a mess, we all know that and that requires major repairs. Reform for all these systems will take a lot of effort, a lot of money and a lot of time, and time is what Mexicans don’t have and patience is what we have lost. So Margarita Zavala has made a number of proposals for this reform, beginning with the creation of a specialized ministry of security which use to exist under her husband’s administration Felipe Calderon. She has presented that in a number of police reforms, including the major overhaul of the federal police also a number of proposals for strengthening the criminal justice system, but again these things will take time. On day 1 she proposes five measures that we think will have an impact, the impact will not be earth shattering and probably will not change the country in an instant but they will save lives and they will bring some peace to some people.
Ana Maria – Share with us, lets walk our audience through it.
Alejandro Hope – One we need to concentrate efforts on the most violent criminal groups. Why is that? And we are not naming it yet; well first we want criminal groups to compete on being less violent. We want to create this incentive for less violence. Criminal groups know that if they become too violent they will become a target for the law and the government. That is one major step, which is something that they do not want and that is what we will do on day one.
Ana Maria – I remember you and I sat down through one of these meetings and discussions of Mike Climen, he talked about focusing on those organizations that have a high impact in terms of violence on the community, and just go after them and send a message to the other criminal organizations.
Alejandro Hope – That is the source of this proposal; this idea has been around in Mexico for at least a decade now. The time is right for at least a practice of this idea. Secondly as you know, roads have become very dangerous in Mexico and there is a need for increased security and surveillance on both highways and roads , I mean we don’t have the resources to secure all roads but we do have the capacity to secure most roads , so we are going to be naming 10- 20 secure highways, and we are going to be concentrating efforts in those places so as to have a concentrate of secure highways, we are thinking Monterrey- Reynosa , Mexico city –Queretaro etc…
Ana Maria – We just saw Guanajuato, and all these kidnappings.
Alejandro Hope – Guanajuato is another one that we are thinking of. There are a number of roads that we focused on. We need to have more data than the one we have now, but again I think that is an idea that needs to be put in place and to be implement quickly.
Alejandro Hope – Three, extortion is a major criminal activity throughout Mexico in many cities, not only phone extortion which is the most common version of extortion. We are seeing mafia style shakedowns, In places like Tampico, la river Maya or Cancun where I mean extortion is turning into an epidemic, we are going to start setting up sting operations so as to get to extortion rings.
Ana Maria – Like these undercover sting operations in the US?
Alejandro Hope- Exactly, we have to get to these extortion rings and we have to create e some kind of an inventory so as to see that people are actually doing their job.
Ana Maria – What are the next 2 points?
Alejandro Hope- We are going to implement an intervention in cuidad Juarez, in 2010–2012 that led to an 80% decrease in the amount of homicides. We did this in 2 cities, one is in Tijuana which is in the middle of a major crime wave, and second is Leon Guanajuato which is at the epicenter of this violence connected to automobile theft racket. I mean we have to confirm more data more info, but I think it’s a very good proposal. That includes a major deployment of armed forces and social programs because we need some accountability with the civil society.
Ana Maria – Give me your final one because this is excellent, very incredible.
Alejandro Hope- Well we are thinking that we need to implement anti homicide campaigns, at least a couple of highly iconic installments, we are thinking Icatepec and also Puebla, and this would imply sending to the federal attorney office all homicides of women in these specific localities. There are about a few dozen cases, so we have to put resources to solve this.
Ana Maria – So there are these five points and the proposal of these points is to have an immediate impact on this wave of violence.
Alejandro Hope- Hopefully you will come back on the show and we can have more time to talk about the violence in Mexico and the strategies, It’s fascinating to hear this that you can put this all into very specific areas, I would say very actionable that of course could have a very good impact and of course they can save lives.
Ana Maria – Well we hope that they will help and send a message on the day they are applied
Thank you I really appreciate you joining us, here with Alejandro hope.