Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican President Sees Anti-Drug Strategy Continuing Under PRI

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 |

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in an interview published Sunday by Spain’s El Pais newspaper that he was convinced that his anti-drug strategy and reforms would be continued by Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who won the July 1 presidential election.

Calderon said he was “satisfied” with his legacy and expressed a willingness to work with the new administration to push forward energy, labor and tax reforms “that there is still enough time to get approved.”

“Many of these reforms were not achieved precisely because of obstacles from the PRI during these years and I expect this attitude, which has been damaging to the republic, can be corrected,” Calderon said.

“In terms of strengthening the institutions,” Mexico is better than it was six years ago, Calderon said, referring to the crime and drug-related violence that his administration has tried to fight.

“In terms of violence, evidently not,” the president said, adding that “there has been an exponential increase in violence in all of Latin America, and in the deaths caused by criminal organizations fighting not just for (smuggling) routes, but for territories, for the drug market.”

“I can assure you that I found truly rotted institutions at the federal, state and municipal levels, and today, at least, with their deficiencies, they are better than we got them,” Calderon said.

The government has acted “with scrupulous respect for the law” at all times, the president said in response to a question about human rights violations in the war on drugs.

Calderon said he was not concerned about being hauled before a tribunal in The Hague.

“I believe the irresponsibility for a leader would have been to not act. Surely, there have been human rights violations by the armed forces and the police. But these were exceptions, not systematic,” Calderon said.

After holding the presidency for 12 years, the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, will hand over power to the PRI and Peña Nieto following elections that are being challenged by leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador also refused to accept the results of the 2006 presidential election, which he lost by a razor-thin margin to Calderon.

“The problem with Mexican democracy is not with electoral accounting,” Calderon said. “It has to do with the freedom with which a voter gets to the booth to vote for one or another candidate.”

“Our democracy has many things that need to be corrected, but any disagreements should be handled via institutional channels,” the president said.
If its victory is ratified by Mexico’s electoral court, the PRI, which governed Mexico uninterruptedly from 1929 to 2000, will return to power.

During its 71 years of largely unchallenged hegemony, the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence.

“We all lost, those of us in the government, the PAN leadership, because, perhaps, the (candidate) selection process was erratic, tortuous, politically costly ... the campaign strategy was not one of continuity, but one of change or difference,” Calderon said.
PAN candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota ended up in third place in the presidential race, winning just 25.41 percent of the vote.

A “reconstruction of the PAN, the platform, the structure, the membership, the leadership, of the process for selecting candidates,” is needed, Calderon said.

“There is much to do and to revise, but if the PAN takes the path of reconstruction, it will govern Mexico again much sooner than many think,” Calderon said.

Source: AP

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10 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Peña nieto is not the president!

Anonymous said...

@9:13AM, Okay Lopez Obrador, now what? Another sit down in the zocalo? Sore loser.

Anonymous said...

We have some traditions in the US that Mexicans may be interested in. The outgoing president, after he is out of office, keeps his mouth shut about the new president. The candidate who was defeated in the election makes some statement conceding his defeat and offering his assistance to the winner - IN THE INTEREST OF UNITY, SOLIDARITY AND A SMOOTH TRANSITION OF POWER. One of the things that makes the US great.

AMLO is hurting his country by being a petulant, sore head, loser. He is certainly no patriot.

Anonymous said...

Calderon said Mexico is a better place than it was 6 years ago.What an idiot he really believes that????

Anonymous said...

July 18, 2012 2:13 PM You are the idiot who doesn't know that 6 years ago the cartels used to have more power than they do now.

Anonymous said...

Ok this started when Calderon came into office.Has he stopped violence in Mexico? No has only gotten worse and yes that make you and idiot like Calderon.

666 said...

@12:28
Yeah that's why when the bush administration took the presidency the first time there was talk about corruption and recounts and other political infighting to recount Florida's votes. Keep your mouth shut Mexico and the US are very different and the US has allot if not more political fighting, freedom of speech ring a bell.

Anonymous said...

In Mexico rule of law ,Peace ,dignity ,Quality of life WILL HAVE TO BE EARNED a substantial number of people are invested in crime,corruption,and unethical business practices,THE SUPPORT OF ALL is needed!

Anonymous said...

No matter what the hell Calderon does everyone going to blame him. If he does nothing he will be hated and if he does something he will be hated. He had no choice but to try to fight the cartels yeh it may have made things worse in many ways but that's to be expected.

Anonymous said...

Felipe Calderon is the only Mexican president that had the bravery and fortitude to confront these powerful drug cartels, so of course they are not going give up without a fight, things are going to get worse before they get better, but in the long run this is the right thing to do, Mexicans can’t keep living with criminal organizations influencing and controlling entire cities and state governments, this is simply not acceptable. The cartels are no longer just dedicating their efforts to drug trafficking but they are also committing armed robberies, kidnapping, extorting, money laundering and mass murder, if Calderon had not acted they would have kept growing in power and arms to the point of creating their own paramilitary groups and the problem would have been 10 times worse to try to stop them.

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