OLGA MARÍA DEL CARMEN SÁNCHEZ CORDERO DÁVILA

Mexico 2020 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

In line with the goals of the current administration, the Secretariat of Interior Affairs has made it a priority to contribute to social peace and the country's governance.

BIOGRAPHY

Olga María del Carmen Sánchez Cordero Dávila is the first female Secretary of the Interior of Mexico in history. She was formerly a judge on the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, which is the country's highest federal court from 1995 to 2015.

What projects and initiatives are you prioritizing for the six-year period and why?
It is necessary to start by mentioning the major pillars of the Fourth Transformation, led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. On repeated occasions, the president has expressed that the poor should come first for the good of Mexico. There is another equally important project, necessary to achieve the objectives of the first one: the fight against corruption. Today, the social programs of the government of President López Obrador are guaranteed to continue because they have the resources that the country previously lost due to corrupt practices, which are no longer permitted. The pension for the elderly, the support for children with disabilities, the provision of scholarships to students from poor families, and free care and medicine are possible. Regarding public works and infrastructure, the federal administration has, among other major strategic projects: the new Felipe Angeles airport, which replaces the defunct New Mexico International Airport project in Texcoco, cancelled due to its exorbitant costs; Tren Maya, which will energize the economy of southeast Mexico and generate 30,000 jobs in each of its seven stages; and the Dos Bocas refinery in Tabasco with a capacity of 340,000bpd, the first refinery built in the last 40 years. The objective behind the president's great projects and initiatives is to carry out the fourth transformation of Mexico to establish the foundations of a new era for the nation, in which a few will cease to profit from the wealth of all and a new horizon of hope and well-being will open up for Mexican families.

What next steps must be taken to legalize the medical use of cannabis in the country?
Cannabis regulation does not mean decriminalizing or legalizing, but rather reforming the use and consumption of drugs, since the current prohibitionist policy has increased violence in Mexico and criminalized a fraction of the population that consumes it. Once the draft bill on the regulation of cannabis was generally approved in the Senate of the Republic in early March 2020, a new phase of the debate opens in the Congress of the Union to agree on the precise next steps. In the regulation of marijuana, the biggest challenge is to balance the public health approach, with the interests derived from its commercialization. The growth in cannabis consumption forced us to explore a different approach, because the objective could no longer be to eradicate the use of a substance with such prevalence in society. The issue had to be approached from a public health perspective, establishing the right to self-determination and consumer welfare. With the regulation of cannabis, Mexico is advancing on its still-long road to the well-being and economic improvement of its people, factors that demand to be accompanied by health, security, and respect for human rights.

Considering that the increase in insecurity in Mexico is one of the main concerns of the business community in the country, what strategies is the secretariat using to address security concerns?
In the government's new structure, responsibility for public security is outside the Ministry of the Interior, a new agency that now focuses primarily on managing the country's domestic policy which is the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection, responsible for preventive federal police action. Security policy from the president is implemented transversally throughout every public institution; all members of the cabinet have interference in it, from the scope of competence of each head of secretariat. Within its sphere of action, the Ministry of the Interior contributes to social peace by establishing agreements with the various social, political and religious actors in Mexico, through dialogue, tolerance, plurality, and respect for human dignity. In addition, the Ministry of the Interior plays an important role in the harmony of Mexicans, as it is now also the secretariat for human rights.