By Jonathan J. Levin
In this image taken from the television, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon speaks to the nation during a televised message in Mexico City, Tuesday June 15, 2010. Calderon asked Mexicans to support his fight against organized crime as escalating bloodshed puts June in line to become the deadliest month yet in Mexico's drug war.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon defended his drug war strategy and pledged to rout narcotics gangs and organized crime as violence reached one of the highest levels in his four-year-old administration.
“It’s a fight that’s worth waging, because our future is at risk,” Calderon said late today, in a “Message to the Nation” broadcast on television stations. “It’s a fight that together the Mexicans are going to win.”
Calderon spoke after soldiers earlier today battled armed gangs in the southwestern part of Mexico, killing as many as 15 people near the tourist city of Taxco, the Guerrero state attorney general said.
Violence tied to the illegal drug trade led on June 11 to the highest one-day death toll under the Calderon administration, leaving 85 people dead, according to Mexico City newspaper El Universal, which uses its own tally. More than 22,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since Calderon took office in 2006.
Sunday, Mexican gunmen killed 10 police officers in southwestern Michoacan state and 28 prisoners were killed in a jail in Sinaloa state.
Calderon said the nation will fight organized crime by strengthening institutions, increasing police training, developing more efficient laws and strengthening the “social fabric” of the country with education.
Mexican Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero announced restrictions today on cash deposits made in U.S. dollars. He said the measures will hurt drug traffickers by “closing the route for dollars coming from illicit sources.”
Mexicans with accounts at a given bank will be able to deposit as much as $4,000 in cash per month at that bank, and Mexicans without accounts will be able to deposit up to $300 a day and $1,500 a month, Cordero said.