Cardinal Norberto R. Carrera said the family should become the nucleus of a society that spreads concord and not hostility, while speaking at a voluntary disarmament campaign in Mexico City.

"Society always needs public forces to prevent violence, but preventative actions such as voluntary disarmament are more important," the cardinal Archbishop of Mexico stated.

The campaign allowed citizens to exchange weapons in their possession for economic aid or cash, and was held at the city's cathedral.

According to the News Service of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Cardinal Carrera thanked government officials for the invitation "to participate in a cause so noble as peace."

"Together with his program, many other actions are needed, such as strengthening the nuclear family, where violence often arises, instead of being a center of harmony, peace and tolerance," he emphasized.

"Not only are preventive actions necessary to be successful, but the banishing of impunity is as well, because if it is not, society is encouraged to continue down the path of violence and criminality."

Nearly 6,000 weapons and 49,000 cartridges were collected during the voluntary disarmament campaign, which ended May 31.

Mexico City governor Miguel A. Mancera thanked Cardinal Carrera for the "chance to be at this most important center of the Catholic religion," and he recognized the Church's efforts to join in the campaign to help foster a culture of peace.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Church, the Mexican military, and civil organizations, it was the most successful disarmament campaign in the country, Mancera noted.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu thanked Cardinal Carrera for his efforts to raise awareness and promote peace initiatives.

The disarmament program "invites us to make others aware that we want to live in happiness, not in fear."

"Fear comes from weapons," she added.

Cardinal Carrera said the Church joins these efforts because "her goal is also to achieve the peace that Christ came to bring to the earth."