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She, who must be obeyed

3 July 2018

This nice lady is Lopez Obrador’s choice to run the Secretaría de Gobernación… in charge of not just getting bills through the legislature, but also in charge of immigration, internal security and heading CISEN, Mexico’s version of the CIA. As the #2 person in the Federal administration, she is de facto Vice-President, chief spy-master and head of Homeland Security. Very little has been said about Olga Sánchez Cordero, although she was interviewed by Agence France-Presse a few weeks ago, something worth taking another look at.

My rather loose translation is from El Economista, 13 June 2018.



Former Supreme Court Justice Olga Sánchez Cordero, admits she was surprised to be proposed to becomes Interior Minister following the expected victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in July 1 presidential elections .

Sánchez Cordero, 71, who sat on the court from 1995 to 2015, outlines what she will do at the head of the vital secretariat should López Obrador, who maintains a double-digit lead over his rivals in every poll, reaches the presidential chair.

“We are not going to fight violence with more violence, the armed forces will only be deployed in certain specific places, she told AFP, by way of criticizing the controversial military anti-drug operation launched by the Calderon government (2006-2012) and continued in the Enrique Peña Nieto administration.

Sánchez further added that she will also seek to decriminalize recreational marijuana use and implement “transitional justice” — a series of special legal mechanisms that can be activated after systematic violations of human rights in the country.

However, the security landscape is complicated: 2017 was the most violent year in two decades and femicides, disappearances, executions and murders are almost daily occurrences in this country.

With this in mind, Sánchez Cordero outlined Lopez Obrador’s proposals in an interview, including the controversial amnesty to end the violence.

-How will you guarantee full respect for human rights?

– For the moment truth commissions in very specific areas. We are going to bet on transitional justice, centered on bringing truth and justice to the victims.

-How is the amnesty going to work for the perpetrators of crimes?

– I am thinking of a law to reduce penalties for informants that will lead us to a true and accurate information, and something comparable in working on finding the disappeared.

I believe that we don’t have the material, human, or economic resources we can allocate to finding all the disappeared, given that the “black numbers” [the estimates of unreported, or under-reported incidents] are so high.

-Who would you include the amnesty?

– The “leva”… those forcibly recruited. These are the young men who if they don’t join, are killed.  Either they join the criminals, or the criminals kill and disappear them.

We have a generation of young people who are being disappeared, especially young men mostly between 15 and 21 years old. We have been losing a generation of young people over the last 18 years. We can not continue like this.

– How to convince a boy to forgo the easy money made from crime?

– We will offer schooling, and culture of peace, if they lay down their arms. It may suit a young man to have another future.  His immediate goal might be a Hummer, but his future does not end there.

-There are areas such as the Sierra de Guerrero where people devote themselves to opium poppies.  They claim there is no other industry.

– We have to start thinking about decriminalizing drugs.  That’s it: decriminalize drugs.  Obviously marijuana.

-Only marijuana?

– Marijuana for recreational and any other use is one thing I will propose to Andrés Manuel: decriminalizing the planting, harvesting, transfer and recreational use of marijuana.

Speaking of opium poppies, we would consider something like Afghanistan has done. It is highly valued for pharmaceuticals and for medicinal use:  use opiates for legal drugs.

– And how to fight other criminal activities?

– It is true that already criminals have diversified their industry… not just drugs, but fighting for control of public spaces, kidnappings and so on, that must be punished. 

Foreign investment is drying up precisely because of public safety concerns. Let’s be honest. Do you think that a foreign company will want to invest in Mexico when it knows that its merchandise will be stolen from trucks, from trailers and that they will even derail trains?

-What to do in the case of train or fuel robberies which are often perpetrated by the local residents?

– The situation is not explosive or out of control. Yes it is very difficult: poverty, lack of opportunities, lack of work, shameful wages, are why people dedicate themselves to things like this.  It’s because salaries are truly ridiculous. Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants decent wages, we all want decent wages.


So, criminals beware! She’s coming for you, and gonna turn you into a solid citizen.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 3 July 2018 11:06 am

    The important question (not addressed) is if Mexico will be able to summon the institutional fortitude to solve these problems. None of them are insoluble, nor are they particularly unique to Mexico. But they are deeply rooted, in corruption and other institutional pathologies. The question is can they be rooted out while still leaving the institutions basically functional?

    That’s the challenge. I hope AMLO and his cabinet rise to it. Mexico deserves better than it’s historically gotten.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where the local media play zero role in holding power to account.

  2. 6 July 2018 6:34 pm

    I would take this suggestion of transitional justice very seriously. The short term goals are to deprive “cartels’ of drug profits, turn their rank and file against them, and target those guilty of orchestrating violence. The ultimate goal is anti-corruption – to expose those in the government and business who have abetted or even guided violent corruption. This is a way of reforming government, not just handling the new mafia that has arisen because of Calderon’s drug war.

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