06/23/11 – Activist Julián LeBarón has invited President Calderón to be part of his new peace caravan that will travel from the southeast region of Mexico to Guatemala. He has asked the president, along with the Mexican army and federal police, to join as regular citizens, meaning “without masks or arms.” This invitation was announced today during a security conference that President Calderón hosted with members of civil society.
The purpose of the peace caravan is to convince Calderón’s government to adopt less violent policies to handle the violence created by narco-traffickers and other organized crime groups throughout Mexico. LeBarón emphasized his main message, being that violence cannot be ended with more violence. He feels that Calderón’s government has taken on this very course of action through the increased use of military and police forces to combat narco-traffickers, which LeBarón believes is unproductive. Calderón defended his decision to use Mexican armed forces to address drug-related violence and claimed that the only thing he regrets is “not doing it sooner and with more force,” so that the number of innocent deaths could have been better contained.