Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Can Mexico’s Presidential Hopefuls Stop the Bodies Piling Up?

Posted in Borderland Beat Forum by Athena

By: Tim Padgett
Time Magazine (Blog)
Enrique Pena Nieto

The main opposition political party is at the root of the violence engulfing Mexico, ruling party presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota said after one of the worst atrocities in the country's drug war.

Fighting to close a big gap with Enrique Pena Nieto, the front-runner for the July 1 election, Vazquez Mota sharpened her attacks on his Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, saying it had made life easy for brutal drug traffickers in Mexico.

Support for her conservative National Action Party (PAN) has been eroded by the rising tide of brutality that has swept across Mexico since President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to fight drug gangs soon after taking office in December 2006.

In an interview late on Sunday after 49 decapitated bodies were found on a highway outside the northern city of Monterrey, Vazquez Mota said the origins of Mexico's violence can be traced to years of neglect or collusion during decades of PRI rule.

"Seven out of 10 murders committed by organized crime happen in states governed by the PRI, which is an unequivocal sign that there has been omission, indifference and complicity that must be proven by the proper authorities," she told Reuters.

The PRI, which governs nearly two thirds of Mexico's 31 states, including Nuevo Leon where the latest massacre occurred, says the government's strategy has failed.

But Vazquez Mota continues to defend the army-led offensive begun by Calderon, who cannot seek re-election.

"I think President Calderon has taken on the cartels with great courage and resolve and is trying to reverse what was permitted for many years," she said during a campaign stop in Veracruz state on Mexico's Gulf coast. "Today many major capos and criminals are in jail that for many years walked free and had the space to advance and take control of territory."

Vazquez Mota, who hopes to become Mexico's first woman president, may have undermined her campaign with such unquestioning support of Calderon's drug war strategy.

She lags the PRI's Pena Nieto by about 20 percentage points, and recent polls have shown her slipping into third place behind leftist hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

More than half of Mexicans believe the criminals are winning the drug war, a survey showed late last year.

The murders over the weekend brought the death toll of people killed this past week to nearly 100. Bodies have been hung from bridges, stuffed in ice boxes or cut up in plastic bags in an escalation of attacks between rival cartels.

There have been more than 50,000 drug-related murders during Calderon's administration.

The government has trumpeted the capture or killing of many of the drug kingpins on its most wanted list during Calderon's term, but some experts say taking out cartel leaders has only fanned infighting and inflamed violence.

Josefina Vazquez Mota

The view from Vazquez Mota's Veracruz hotel room in an upscale shopping mall overlooked the intersection where last September drug cartels dumped more than two dozen bodies in morning traffic, causing panic in the port city.

The federal government sent in marines after the attacks, and pickup trucks full of masked soldiers with automatic weapons now patrol the city, inspecting suspicious vehicles.

People have returned to the plazas and seaside boardwalk and streets are bustling again with vendors and musicians at night.

But just two weeks ago, three local journalists were killed in a haunting reminder that violence has not disappeared from the state.

Vazquez Mota proposes the creation of a militarized national police with at least 150,000 officers, tougher controls on money laundering and stiffer penalties for corrupt officials.

Congress blocked similar efforts by Calderon to form a national police force to replace hundreds of poorly equipped municipal and state officers often vulnerable to graft.

Instead the federal government mandated all local police forces go through background checks and fold their ranks into a single command structure headed by the states. Many local governments have not yet complied.

Vazquez Mota swiped at Veracruz's PRI governor, Javier Duarte, without directly mentioning his name, at a rally packed with women supporters in a downtown cultural center on Sunday.

"The local governors have lied to the families of Veracruz because here they didn't certify the police, here they opened the door to organized crime," she said. Her promise to keep the marines on the streets until local police can control crime prompted a standing ovation from the well-dressed crowd.

Vazquez Mota also pointed to examples of former party governors accused of corruption or who had made statements in the past about cutting deals with cartels.

The former treasurer in the northern state of Coahuila is wanted in the United States for money laundering, raising questions about the administration of ex-governor Humberto Moreira, who later served as PRI chairman, she said.

The PRI, which ruled Mexico for more than 70, lost the presidency to the PAN in 2000.

Pena Nieto, a former governor of the State of Mexico, is not proposing a radical departure from Calderon's anti-drug strategy and also wants a new military police force.

Only Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost to Calderon in 2006, has proposed a timetable to pull the army off the streets.

(Editing by Dave Graham and Christopher Wilson)


  1. Can you eliminate cockroaches?

  2. Peña Nieto fue escogido para presidente por Moreira entonces (presidente del PRI)poco despues se descubrio la corrupcion y endeudamiento de Coahuila y los millones robados y desaparecidos mas el apoyo a los Z`s de este Gobernador cuanto le pagaron? nadien sabra... pero una cosa si muy segura es que nada bueno va a salir si se vota por Peña Nieto escogido por el mas corrupto de los Gobernador.

    1. Muy bien dicho. Los moriera saben que si les va hechar la mano

  3. Politicians to the rescue, YOU BET!

  4. We have 2 vote amlo is our best choice

  5. oh course! if they don't do anything. They will probably get payed to look the other way like past presidents have. Calderon was the only one who actually did something even though Mexico hasn't seen any success.

  6. Peña Nieto has a chance to stop it. PRI feudal power is huge. He has the backing of the maximus Zeta leader the hated Elba Ester Gordillo better known to Mexicans as the "mexican chucky doll" There is also a well documented success of the PRI negociating truce and peace in exchange for territory concesions and enforcement of deals between Cartels. Now on the wild card it seems PAN will try to retain power at all cost. The orders from the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel PAN supreme commanders are to retain power at all costs. This is looking more and more as a looming civil war for power between both Cartels ZETAS (PRI) and Chapos (PAN). In my opinion social support is on the side of PRI. People want to be able to drive, live, enjoy Mexico as it used to before the PAN. They want peace. Even if its a peace on poverty and failed dreams. We for sure will know what is in store for Mexicanos after the election night. But It may surprise you. It is well known that Zetas have been stockpiling enormous ammounts of weapons and munition. The answer lay a couple months from now !

  7. amlo is a bitter little man. bitter because the big boys won't play with him.

    all mexican and most us politicians are crooks. getting elected to office in either country is like getting a license to steal.

    in los angeles a man named noguera was elected tax assessor. he is currently under investigation for lowering certain people's taxes in exchange for contributions to his campaign.

    all people involved in drug traffic will have to be hanged from the phone poles before you can expect any improvement in mexico. that's a lot of hanging and no politician has the balls for it.

  8. amlo is the only solution

  9. all these candidates suck balls

  10. May 15, 2012 11:57 PM Tiene todo la razon. Moreira chose Pena Nieto. Corruption begets corruption.

  11. Vote PRI, get those conservative sumbasses out!!!

  12. ANDRES LOPEZ OBRADOR. the media wil start to label him as a crazy leftist.butr P.R.I. is the worst of them.

  13. A new police force?? Just wondering if the U.S. Know this all along. They want Mexico to become a major police force, but are waiting for the right person to change??( even though they know corruption is also being use)

  14. AMLO 2012, every other candidate is tied to the mexican financial mafiosos that currently control the country: peña nieto, josefina vazquez, quadri, they are all "junk" "disposable puppets" to keep abusing the mexican people and impoverishing the country further, enough is enough! mexico please wake up!

  15. Lopez Obrador was formed in the PRI, its the same shit. Calderon is the ONLY president with the balls to fuck the cartels.

  16. I think carlos slim should be prez of mexico and donald trump prez of usa

  17. Look at May 16, 2012 11:01 PM comment?
    Why do they always insist on dragging the US into everything that happens in Mexico?They hate the US it is plain to see,always crowing about imaginary plans for Mexico and its people.This is Mexico and it is Mexicos problem,no-one other country.As for the politicians,the only way you could see real change happening is with another huge uprising of the people.These status quos are so damaging,who can you vote for?You have no democracy when none of the people are good enough for the job and the majority of people want change.This scenario is played out in many countries across the globe,in our so-called developed countries where you are virtually being told who to vote for,voter apathy is also understandable.Who can you vote for when they are all no good?I wouldn't buy a used fridge off Pena Nieto,yet he may run a huge country?

    1. I dont understand why all this hate speech is necessary. Im Mexican and i love the u.s.a. I've served this county since 09 I've been on three tours in Afghanistan and iraq. i have yet to meet a mexican who hates the states. dont let the six assholes on this blog get to you. You then condemn us all as racists. We are not all criminals or cartel members. we are all against the same enemy. We have to eradicate all evil and enemy foreign and domestic. For god and COUNTRY

  18. Enrique Pena Nieto is bought and paid for by El Chapo!

  19. To vote PRI is to vote for the NARCOS! Dont be STUPID!


  21. "Im Mexican and i love the u.s.a. I've served this county since 09 I've been on three tours in Afghanistan and iraq"
    Saludos to you brother.I got no hate for Mexico or her people,it just gets hard to take,being called"whiteboy"all the time.Racism is not cool,all it elicits is negativity,anger,frustration,why he call me that.In all the time i have posted on here,i have never resorted to racist shit,it's not cool.To you senore i say thanks for showing common sense.

  22. May 17, 2012 4:19 PM .
    Dude,i don't think that,but you do get an awful lot of antagonism to the white-man etc.I see the cracker and whiteboys things as well.There is no need for it.I think it is tragic what Mexico is enduring off these rat gunmen,extorting decent working people and in fact anyone they can threaten and intimidate.Good luck to you bro.

    1. Ignore all that nonsense we are brothers in arms. evil prevails when good men do nothing .


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