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Queretaro, Mexico: Congress on Building Communities in Peace
an article by Express Metropolitano, Queretaro

The Attorney General of the State, Arsenio Duran Becerra, closed the 2014 Congress "Building Communities in Peace" by summarizing its activities and findings. Also there was the presentation of the awards for the State Short Film Contest "New Talent for Peace. "

click on photo to enlarge

At the ceremony the Deputy Prevention of Crime Victim Assistance and Human Rights, Godofredo Alderete Velasco, shared with attendees the following eleven conclusions of the speakers:

1. The culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes, traditions and behaviors based on respect for life and the end of violence.

2. Violence is not part of human nature.

3. Addressing the issue of human rights from the public administration requires institutional recognition of the areas of opportunity.

4. The backbone of the constitutional reform on human rights is the principle of "pro persona".

5. Sport and culture are not only human rights but also they are useful tools for achieving social cohesion.

6. The reform of the adversarial criminal justice system requires a cultural change that involves, among other things: qualified, ideological and structural training; adopting a culture of truth and legality; and the emphasis on transparency and publicity as practices that can show whether or not there was corruption in a specific case.

7. From the gender perspective, the main objective for the Mexican State before the Adversarial Criminal Justice System is to take action to ensure access of all people to justice.

8. The role of the crime victim should be balanced with the role of the accused in criminal proceedings.

9. Criminal investigation can reveal the facts that are necessary and sufficient to prosecute crimes and their perpetrators effectively and in accordance with law, provided that the public servants involved have a thorough, accurate and precise knowledge of human rights, criminal procedure and the means of obtaining evidence and valuation.

10. To clarify the facts, protect the innocent, punish the guilty and repair the damage caused to the victim are the goals that should be pursued in the oral adversarial criminal justice system.

11. The National Programme for Social Prevention of Violence and Crime proposes a paradigm shift that involves moving from a vision of public safety to a vision of citizen security, where the conditions are generated to help enforce our human rights, and lay the foundation for human security.

12.-All actions for social prevention should focus on specific sectors, giving priority to groups that are vulnerable to violence and crime.

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(The following is continued from the main article listed above.)

The topics discussed during the two days of work were:

Culture of Peace: A Possible Utopia by David Adams;

Gender in the Criminal Justice System: Challenges from the Inter-American Court, by Julieta Sánchez Morales;

Benefits and Challenges of the New Criminal Justice System as outlined by Miguel Ángel López Aguilar;

Human Rights of Victims of Crime, by Luis de la Barreda Solórzano;

Public Policy and Human Rights, by Ricardo Sepúlveda Iguíniz;

Purposes of the Oral Adversarial Criminal Justice System, by Hesbert Benavente Corres;

Perspective on Human Rights in the Context of New Model of Constitutional Control, Sergio Antonio Mendez Silva;

National Program for Social Prevention of Violence and Crime, by Lucila Guerra Delgado;

Sport as an element of social cohesion, exposed by Gabriela de la Garza Tames;

Criminal Investigation in the Adversarial Criminal Justice System, Ma. Guadalupe Martínez Flores

and Reform of Culture of Peace by Hiram Valdez COMNAPAZ Chavez and specialists.

Finally, the work of the 158 films received for the "New Talent for Peace 2014" was recognized. The winners were:

first, Montserrat Escalante Gallardo, Laura Pedraza Maritza Ramirez and Elizabeth Hasby of Madrid, with "Loving differences";

Second were Santiago Sánchez Díaz and Lizeth Briseño Juárez, with "sharpener";

The third place went to Rodrigo Gómez Zea, with "Solidarity the basis of all society."

Also present in the closing were:

the Secretary of Education, Fernando de la Isla Herrera;

the Director of the Queretano Institute of Culture and Arts, Laura Corvera Galván;

President of CONMAPAZ in Mexico, Hiram Valdez Chavez;

the Legal Director of the University of Queretaro, Oscar Guerra Becerra, among others.

This report was posted on January 4, 2015.