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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Do Mexicans Think? About The Violence, Calderon, U.S. Drugwar Etc.

Borderland Beat
What Do Mexicans Think?
22% Blame the US for the Drugwar while 14% blame Mexico
 Support Military Campaign
  Despite Doubts About Success, Human Rights Costs

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.
At the same time, the public is uneasy about the moral cost of the drug war: 74% say human rights violations by the military and police are a very big problem. But concern about rights abuses coexist with continued worries about drug-related violence and crime – both of which strong majorities describe as pressing issues in Mexico.
President Calderón himself remains popular. A 58%-majority has a favorable opinion of Mexico’s current leader. Although down from a high of 68% in 2009, this rating nonetheless puts him on par with the 56% who have a positive view of the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI’s) Enrique Peña Nieto, whose ratings clearly topped those of his opponents when the poll was conducted between March 20 and April 2 of this year.
Support for Calderón’s strategy continues despite limited confidence that the government is winning the drug war, and widespread concerns about its costs.
Just 47% believe progress is being made against drug traffickers, virtually identical to the 45% who held this opinion in 2011. Three-in-ten today say the government is actually losing ground against the cartels, while 19% see no change in the stand-off between the authorities and crime syndicates.
Whether Peña Nieto or any of the other presidential candidates have a solution to Mexico’s drug problems is an open question for the Mexican public. When asked which political party could do a better job of dealing with organized crime and drug traffickers, about equal numbers name Calderón’s National Action Party (PAN) (28%) and Peña Nieto’s PRI (25%), while only 13% point to the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Fully 23% volunteer that none of the parties is particularly capable of dealing with this critical issue.

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.
Overall, a majority (56%) of Mexicans have a favorable opinion of the United States, with about the same number (53%) convinced that Mexicans who migrate to the U.S. have a better life. Despite this perception, most Mexicans have no interest in migrating north across the border, although the percentage who say they would move to the U.S. if they had the means and opportunity has remained fairly steady since 2009.
Army Backed in Drug War
More than five years after President Calderón first ordered troops to take part in controlling drug-related violence, the public remains firmly behind the use of military units to combat drug cartels. Fully eight-in-ten say they support the use of the Mexican army in the drug war, little changed from opinion over the past several years.
Supporters of both the PAN (88%) and the PRI (84%) strongly endorse Calderón’s use of the military. Backers of the PRD are more skeptical, yet 66% still approve of the approach.
Support for Calderón’s anti-cartel strategy is widespread even though only 47% of Mexicans believe the government is making progress against the drug traffickers. Three-in-ten actually think the authorities are losing ground, while 19% essentially see a stalemate, with neither side gaining. This assessment of the drug war is virtually identical to views expressed last year.
Perhaps not surprisingly, backers of the ruling PAN are more enthusiastic about the government’s campaign against drug traffickers: 62% of them believe the authorities are making progress, compared with just 45% of PRI and 34% of PRD supporters.
When asked who is to blame for the drug violence in their country – Mexico or the United States – a majority of Mexicans (61%) say both countries bear responsibility. About one-in-five (22%) says the U.S. is mostly to blame, while 14% point to Mexico. The number of Mexicans blaming both countries is up 10 percentage points compared with 2009, when the question was first asked.
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
Support for U.S. assistance in the drug war tends to be higher among those who see the government succeeding, rather than failing, in its fight against the cartels. For example, 85% of Mexicans who see progress in the drug war back U.S. training of police and military personnel, compared with 68% among those who think the government is losing ground or stymied. Similarly, those who see success in the drug war are more like than those who do not to approve of the U.S. providing money and weapons (71% vs. 54%). Even on the issue of deploying U.S. troops, Mexicans who see progress against the cartels are much more supportive of such a measure than those who believe the government is not succeeding in the drug war (47% vs. 22%).
Negative Ratings for Country and Economy

Issues related to the ongoing drug war top the Mexican public’s list of concerns. Three-in-four say cartel-related violence is a very big problem for the country, while a roughly equal number say the same about human rights violations by the military and police. And 73% name crime as a very big problem.
Slightly smaller majorities point to corrupt political leaders, illegal drugs, and the economy as very big problems.
Roughly six-in-ten believe terrorism (62%) and pollution (58%) are very big problems, while only about half think people leaving Mexico for jobs or the poor quality of schools are top concerns.
Despite being relatively content with the overall situation in the country, Mexicans with higher incomes are more likely than others to see their country beset by problems. Specifically, wealthier Mexicans are at least 10 percentage points more likely than those with lower incomes to rate schools (+20), economic problems (+14), cartel-related violence (+10), illegal drugs (+10), human rights violations (+10) and crime (+10) as very big problems.
Given broad public concern about crime, it is perhaps unsurprising that more than half (56%) of Mexicans say they are afraid to walk alone at night within a kilometer of their home. This sentiment has increased slightly since 2007 (50%). Women (61%) are more likely to be afraid, though a sizeable percentage of men (51%) also express unease.
Calderón and Government Get Positive Marks

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.

Assessments of the national government’s impact have improved 11 percentage points since last spring, when 54% said it was having a good influence. Views of the government have particularly improved among middle-income Mexicans (+25 percentage points) and those living in the Mexico City area (+22).
Meanwhile, opinion of Calderón has slipped compared with the high marks he received in 2009. At that time, roughly two-thirds viewed him favorably (68%) compared to 58% in the latest survey, and three-quarters in 2009 thought he was having a good influence on the country compared to 57% now.
Calderón is especially trusted among people who say the Mexican government is making progress in the drug war (72% rate him a good influence) but less so among those who say the government is not making progress or losing ground (46%). Meanwhile, two-thirds of Mexicans living in the North and South regions say he is a good influence, but only about half from the Central and Mexico City areas say the same (53% and 47%, respectively).
Military, Media Viewed Favorably

In addition to the national government, the military is also seen in a favorable light, with nearly three-in-four (73%) saying it is having a good influence on the way things are going in the country. This represents a rebound from 2011, when 62% said the military was having a positive impact.
The media is also well-regarded: six-in-ten say television, radio, newspapers, and magazines are having a good influence on the country’s direction. Opinions of the media are unchanged from last year.
Views of the court system and police are not as positive. Less than half of Mexicans see the courts (44%) and the police (38%) as having a good influence on the way things are going in the country. A year ago, opinions of the courts and police were even more negative, with only about three-in-ten giving either institution a positive rating.

Views of Presidential Candidates
Of the three major presidential candidates, Mexicans are most positive about the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto. A 56%-majority has a favorable opinion of Peña Nieto, compared with 38% who see him unfavorably. The PAN’s Josefina Vazquez Mota and the PRD’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador are less popular, with only about a third expressing a favorable view of either candidate (36% and 34%, respectively). More than half express unfavorable views of López Obrador (60%) and Vazquez Mota (54%).
While Peña Nieto is broadly popular across Mexico, views of Vazquez Mota and López Obrador vary by region. Specifically, Vazquez Mota is seen more favorably in the North (47% favorable), while López Obrador has more support among Mexicans in the Mexico City region and the South (46% and 39% favorable respectively).
No Party Stands Out on Key Problems
The public is divided when asked which party could do a better job handling some of the most pressing issues facing Mexico. On unemployment, organized crime/drug traffickers, and corruption, the three main parties come out looking pretty much the same in the eyes of most Mexicans. And confidence is generally low across the board: 30% or fewer think any of the parties is better than the others on these issues.
Generally, those on the right of the ideological spectrum express greater confidence in the ability of both the PRI and PAN to deal with these major problems, while those on the left are inclined to trust the PRD.
U.S. Image Still Positive
A 56%-majority of Mexicans say they have a positive opinion of the U.S., while just 34% rate their northern neighbor unfavorably. America’s image has improved since the passage in 2010 of the highly publicized Arizona immigration law, but has yet to return to levels seen before the law’s enactment.
In 2010, the Arizona law had a measurable impact on opinion of the United States: prior to the law’s passage 62% of those interviewed expressed a favorable view of the U.S., compared with just 44% of those interviewed after the measure was enacted.
Today, younger Mexicans and those with higher education are more likely to be favorable toward the U.S. For example, 60% of 18-29 year-olds hold a positive view of the U.S., while just half of those age 50 and older say the same. Similarly, 66% of those with a post-secondary education are favorable versus just 48% of those with a primary education or less.
Better Life in the U.S.
More than half the public (53%) believe that Mexicans who move to the U.S. have a better life there. Just 14% say they have a worse life, while 28% believe life in the U.S. is neither better nor worse. Attitudes on this topic have shifted since last year, when there was a dip in the percentage who said life is better in the U.S.
Even though many believe life is better for those who emigrate to the U.S., most Mexicans (61%) say they would not move to the U.S., even if they had the means and opportunity to do so. Among the substantial minority who would move, half say they would emigrate without authorization (19% of the total population). These attitudes are unchanged since last year.

The young and highly educated are more likely to want to go to the U.S. Among 18-29 year-olds, 54% would like to move north, while just 37% of 30-49 year-olds and 25% of those age 50 and older say the same. Mexicans with a post-secondary education are 11 percentage points more likely to want to emigrate than those with the lowest level of education.
A sizeable minority of Mexicans know people who have returned to Mexico from the U.S., either for economic reasons or through deportation. Three-in-ten are personally familiar with someone who came back from the U.S. because they could not find a job. This percentage is down 10 points since 2009, during the depth of the U.S. recession. Similarly, 32% of Mexicans say they know someone who has been deported or detained by the U.S. government in the last 12 months.
 To read full report LINK HERE


  1. Calderon was put by chapos money. mexico turned violent because he used force with the military and federal police to put chapo on top. Hes a joke

    1. Who put Obama in. Want to trade ?

    2. Bratha, there may be some truth to what you say. Remember, when Chapo "escaped" from prison there was chaos in Chihuahua with the killings of females. Chapo got out and several months later the fire was put out. Everyone critizises Calderon for the handling of his administration. Now, im mexican born and not allied to any political party in mexico but i do follow the politics there. I can say, Calderon is the first president that has the huevos to take the fight to the cartels. What do you expect him to do when the cartels that the PRI allowed to grow get out of control? He did what was the most appropriate thing to do. He couldnt trust the state or judicial police and the federal police for was still being developed. He had no choice but tk reach out to the military. Yes, the mexican army was already compromised by the cartels but they were still trusted by the president and the public. Everyone hones in on the negative, but why not talk about the steady growth of the mexican economy or the fact the its reserves are an all time high and dont have to depend on foreign money to stabalize the economy. These facts are not mentioned because he is on his way out and no one cares. Well, the reserves will be gone if Penia Nieto takes over because the power behind him is Salinas de Gortari, and you know he took as much as he could from the mexican treasury and they will do the same again. Calderon will be judged in history as being a true mexican hero and all the detractors will be ashamed of them selves for being stupid and wrong about there observations.

    3. This is so true, I agree 100% EPN is married with the mob thus crime might settle because he won't be agains it.

  2. People waste so much time trying to figure out whos to blame! Think about and concentrate on whats the solutions to the problem! Stop wasting time on this B.S. tit for tat...

  3. The numbers don't lie. This is just one of many similar surveys where the public wants the cartels wiped out with all available force.

    Now you look at the media hacks & politicians who try to have you believe that the narco war is a failure and the people don't want it.

    These days you just assume those people are either paid off or spineless jellyfish.

    This has to be depressing for the cartel cheerleaders who would have you believe that the people can live with the gangsters as long as they don't kill innocents.

    There's a major reckoning coming. The pathetic criminals are going to pay dearly for what they have done to this country.

  4. I bet this poll was not conducted in places where it matters. Places so dangerous, people just cant go around taking polls,and asking questions. people have learned to keep their mouths shut. Also the problem witth ilegal drugs is that they're ilegal. Im as much against drunk driving as I am about people taking drugs and driving but what peoploe do to their own bodies is their busines. Other countries have opted to fight and pursue crimes such as rape and murder. This will hopefully allow drug users to come within reach of much needed help. treating them like criminals will only make it worse. Let them know its a sickness and they will someday seek a cure. This war on drugs in México is about as sucessfull as the war on drugs in the US. Its about as sucessful as prohibition. Al Capone was a prduct of that prohibition. We see the product of the war on drugs every day here in México. Im sure you see it in the US aswell. As Always I suggest a war on hunger.

  5. The whole fuckin issue is a joke,22% blame the US?
    Fuck is that all about?When people make a mess,they usually have to clean it up themselves.Not whine and cry,that is someone else,s mess.We are that scared by political correctness,we don't tell the truth and face facts.No one is forcing Mexico to become huge drug manufacturers?I know...If it wasn't for the Mexicans sending all them drugs into the US,we would not be able to consume all those drugs,so it is all Mexicos fault?This is the kind of silly ass attitude that the US always has to contend with.Lets tell the truth,and not be to politically cowardly.Mexicos mess,,,the US,is just a little part of the problem they face.And it is their internal problem.

  6. Sinaloa cartel is the biggest no matter what anyone says, Calderon cant and will not capture Chapo, I support his fight against drug cartels but only 1 will survive & it will be the Sinaloa Cartel..48,000 plus deaths during his seat and still counting..what is Calderon suppose to do let all the cartels run Mexico..mmmm I don't think so this is the survival of the fittest and only the strong will survive....

  7. . Hola, qué tal estás Chivis?!

    Looks like a lot of work went into assembling and calculating the graphs you posted including the writing in this article arriba. You not deserve a lot of credit but good money for all the fine work you've achieved 'CHIVIS'. You're a REAL good worker compa!

    Hope you're also taking some breaks to enjoy the other side of life. At one time in the past I was dedicated to musical composition and I would go at it every day non-stop, long hours for years, and though I became very good at this I started to realize that I had TO LIVE TOO! A passion can turn into an obsession, it happened to some of my friends too.

    Again, I love yoUr 'compositions!


  8. this fucking questions and answer ARE WRONG!! we hate drug war, we in mexico dont support calderon, and LOPEZ OBRADOR is the best candidate to be PRESIDENT.... AMLO 2012.

  9. It's the US. It's the gringos. The Mexicans are just innocent bystanders. They never have cared about their impact on the world. As long as the drugs are being sold to somebody else the mexicans are ok with it.

    Ask a costa rican or a peruvian what they think of mexicans.

    1. Ask a Mexican what they think about a Costa rican or Peruvian

  10. Who in the world came up with these statistics. Honestly i am stunned, its seems that el PRI is behind these polls. Because on independent polls (not including Televisa TeleAzteca) AMLO is winning. I really hope and wish AMLO wins, because if not, there will be a bigger war to fight then drug cartels "The Mexican People". an eruption waiting to happen if PRI wins. The people are not the same as they were 20 years ago. A civil war can break out too.

  11. I dnt ask nobody no body wat they think of me cds runs calderon and obama they can't touch him for 30 and still feeding the poor and the u.s :

  12. Most of the comments here at this blog has become more about racist than anything else. The americans vs the mexicans. Its nothing good on the comments anymore. It use to be people that actually knows what is really happening in Mexico. Most of them don't say nothing no more.

  13. Not one Mexican presidential candidate has any idea what to do to solve the violence and crime in that country. They bicker over meaningless domestic policy issues and have only broad, non-specific statements the about crime and violence that is sinking the country. In fact, the same goes for everyone else. NOBODY has one relevant, specific suggestion to offer.

    Everyone just bitches about stopping the terrible violence and constructs and reconstructs ways of blaming the US. Let one US agency make one bad step and they're all over the US. No one wants to even TALK about the real issues in Mexico.

    Look at the editorials in Milenio. Nothing about the non-functional public agencies - everything about politics as if it matters which party is in power. Amazing.

  14. @6:34 PM what a clever response. Do you have anything to say or are you agonizing over which mexican political party will be best? As if it will make any fucking difference.


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