The Uruguayan Live Without Fear (Vivir Sin Miedo) campaign collected 376,427 signatures, way above the Electoral Court's threshold to force a a plebiscite on security matters in the next elections, Senator Jorge Larrañaga announced Saturday.
Larrañaga, of the National Party, underlined the signature gathering reflected a rebellion [of those] who desire to live in peace.
Living without fear aims to discuss some security measures such as the creation of a military-style National Guard to be involved in public security matters, life imprisonment for serious crimes and also to allow judges to conduct nighttime raids.
Regarding prison sentences, the movement seeks both to scrap early releases from those guilty of serious crimes and also to introduce a new penalty known as the lifetime reviewable sentence for especially serious offenses such as rape or sexual abuse followed by death, hired killers and multiple homicides.
Deputy Pablo Abdala, a member of the commission behind the initiative, said we are very satisfied with the people's response.
The facts have proven us right that there was very strong popular concern for the political system to do something about security, he added.
According to Abdala, the Broad Front of President Tabaré Vázquez has used its parliamentarian majority to set up a blockade against the proposals of other political parties.
When the representatives can not give answers because the political conditions do not allow it, the escape valves are these instruments of direct democracy, Abdala said.
In the end, it is the people who are imposing these solutions that, as they are incorporated into the Constitution, will lead to more security, he also explained.
Despite the fact that the goal has been achieved, the collection of signatures will continue, according to Abdala.