Organizing Community Action Programs for Victims of Crime and Restorative Justice in a Developing Country

Maria de la Luz Lima Malvido, CONSESO

In Mexico, despite concerted efforts by the federal, local and the municipal governments, criminality is a national security problem. The capacity to govern every day is a challenge because organized crime and corruption practices have increased. The government in Mexico has changed the law, hardened the sanctions for many crimes, yet the insecurity and the anxiety over crime has increased. The citizens are reacting in some places by making their own justice because they no longer believe in the institutions. The government tried to resolve part of the problem by creating the National Council for Public Security, which includes 5 ministers, the 32 governors and the 32 attorneys-general of the states. This was created with a new law that had given the strategies that will facilitate the coordinated actions of all the institutions. This law mentions the importance of having the community in interaction on that level. The responsibility lies with the National committee of Consult and Community Participation. The paradigm of the Committee is to promote justice and to have security. The Government's objective is to have security and to have justice. The objectives of both the National Committee and the Government can be integrated and balanced.

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Updated 05/20/2006