Bishops ask Mexico to reconsider strategy against drug cartels


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MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The Mexican bishops' conference has released a pastoral letter calling on the government to reconsider its strategy of depending heavily on soldiers and federal police to combat powerful narcotics trafficking cartels.

The letter also asked the government to halt a wave of violence that has claimed more than 18,000 lives over the past three years.

"Security is not directly or principally related to the ability to use force, the number of police officers, the degree of militarization or the purchasing of weapons," the letter said.

"With the passage of time, the participation of the armed forces in the fight against organized crime has provoked uncertainty in the population."

"It's very clear this environment of violence and insecurity in which we are living denotes a sense of the loss of God," it said.

The letter, released Feb. 15, also asked citizens to denounce crimes and criminal behavior and asked Catholics to do more to help the victims of violence.