Mexico City police have created a program to try to lure young gangsters away from organized crime, according to information obtained by the newspaper Reforma.
Called Alto al Fuego (Stop the Fire), the strategy is a legal apparatus created to offer services and benefits to gang members who want to leave the life of crime.
“In all gangs there are always people who want to leave, they want to vindicate themselves, but they don’t do it out of fear of those above them or because they are getting paid,” said Santiago Pérez, a criminal lawyer with the citizen participation division of the city police.
“What we want is to reach them, offer them protection, services, something for their well-being and in the end, for them to leave and the gang to get smaller until the violence stops,” he said in a recording obtained by the newspaper.
The program will begin in the neighborhoods of Barrio Norte and Plateros, located in the southwest borough of Álvaro Obregón. The neighborhoods are considered to be those most affected by deaths caused by firearms.
“It is a strategy that has been implemented in other places with much success and we’re adapting it for here,” said police spokesman Emanuel Hernández.
A database has been created of gang members on whom the program will focus, which includes their names, addresses, relatives and criminal records.
Source: Reforma (sp)