Mexican Government Rejects Call for Drug Cartel Truce

Mexico's federal security spokesman on Monday rejected a state prosecutor's call for drug cartels to join in some kind of truce, saying the gangs must be arrested and disbanded instead.

Security spokesman Alejandro Poire was reacting to questions about a call made by Alberto Lopez Rosas, the attorney general of the violence-wracked southern state of Guerrero.

In comments to local media over the weekend, Lopez Rosas asked drug cartels for a truce, "to respect the life of a city, the life of the populace, the life of society."

Poire told a news conference on Monday that such entreaties wouldn't lead anywhere.

"Regarding calls by authorities for the criminals to change their behavior, I think it couldn't be clearer that peace is not going to be achieved by asking the criminals for something," Poire said.

"Peace is going to be achieved by bringing the criminals to justice ... that their thinking will not be influenced by appealing to their interests by calling on them to change their ways, but by giving them no choice but to submit to the law and stop their crimes."

Lopez Rosas told the television network Milenio that he had been misunderstood. He said he was calling on the cartels to stop their bloody turf battles against each other, not suggesting that authorities would grant them some sort of truce.

Also Monday, authorities said gunmen shot and killed a city council secretary in northern Mexico.

Prosecutors in the state of Tamaulipas said Ricardo Cruz was near the Mante city hall when gunmen shot him Sunday afternoon.

Authorities didn't give a motive in the killing but the sugarcane-producing city of 100,000 has recently been the scene of fighting between the Zetas and Gulf drug cartels.