As Felipe Calderón’s term as Mexico’s president draws to a close, Mexicans continue to strongly back his policy of deploying the military to combat the country’s powerful drug cartels. Eight-in-ten say this is the right course, a level of support that has remained remarkably constant since the Pew Global Attitudes Project first asked the question in 2009.
These are the principal findings from the latest survey in Mexico by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Conducted face-to-face with 1,200 adults from across the country, the poll also finds that most Mexicans (61%) blame both the United States and their own country for the continued drug violence within their borders.
While solid majorities would welcome U.S. assistance in combating the cartels if the aid came in the form of training, equipment or intelligence support, only a third would approve deploying U.S. troops on Mexican soil.
In order to combat the drug cartels, three-quarters of Mexicans would support the U.S. training Mexican police and military personnel. About six-in-ten (61%) would also approve of the U.S. providing money and weapons to the country’s police and military. However, there is much less enthusiasm for deploying U.S. troops within Mexico’s borders. Only a third would welcome such a move, while a 59% majority would oppose it.
Overall, attitudes toward U.S. assistance in the drug war are little changed from last year, although the percentage who would back the deployment of U.S. troops has fallen slightly, from 38% in 2011 to 33% today
Felipe Calderón remains popular as he concludes his final months as president, with majorities expressing a favorable view of him personally and describing his influence on the country as positive. Ratings for the national government are also high, with roughly two-thirds (65%) saying it is having a good influence on the country’s direction.