Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that his government will not fall "into the trap of declaring war" on criminal gangs, a day after about two dozen bodies were found in the western state of Michoacan.
"We are going to keep fighting crime, but we will not fall into the trap of declaring war, as others did in the past, which led us to the current situation of insecurity and violence," the president said.
Lopez Obrador said the security strategy initiated by previous governments to fight crime and drug trafficking in the state of Michoacan, in his opinion, failed.
"It was precisely in Michoacan where the war on drug trafficking was declared, and that was like hitting a hornet nest with a bat. It did a lot of damage, caused a lot of suffering to the Mexican people," he added.
He said that his government will continue creating more jobs, especially for the young people, as part of the strategy.
"We are going to keep tackling poverty, creating jobs, addressing the needs of the youth, ensuring people's welfare," he said.
Lopez Obrador regretted the persistence of violence in the country and said that his administration will address the roots of the problem.
On Thursday, Mexican authorities discovered the remains of 19 people in three different locations across the city of Uruapan in Michoacan state.
Authorities attributed the incidents to local gang violence.
Over the last decade, Michoacan has seen a rising level of violent crimes as drug cartels have intensified fighting over control of narcotics production and distribution.