In an interview with El Pais on Tuesday, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon concedes that he made mistakes in Mexico’s war on drugs. He admitted that 60,000 to 70,000 dead represented a lot of casualties in his war on drugs, which spanned from 2006 to 2012.
“Yes, that’s a lot. And each one weighs on me more than anything, but those homicides were committed by criminals that I was fighting against,” he said.
The National Commission on Human Rights has also alleged there was a sharp increase in torture and mistreatment complaints during that period. "It’s true that federal operations increased and that there were abuses. However, they were the exception, not the norm.
In all cases, the government took note and acted according to rule of law to bring to justice those responsible,” Calderon said.
Asked what part of his strategy he would have changed, Calderon said: “I would have started the changes a lot earlier, with greater force and more resources.” If he had done nothing, Mexico today would have been an open stage for organized crime, he argued.
Calderon referred to organized crime as a national sickness, which like a cancer patient, needs radical chemo-therapy like measures to cure. It leaves the patient in pain, but “it’s not the doctor’s fault.”
Moving forward, the ex-statesman said that now “I sleep better. I have less problems to think about.”
EL Pais and Telesur