Mexican Presidential Candidates Shy Away from Drug-Related Issues

June 27, 2012
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With Mexico’s presidential election less than a week away, none of the candidates have firmly established their policies regarding Mexico’s Drug War, and have avoided divulging how they plan to combat the narco traffickers and cartels that have turned large areas of the country into violent warzones. The escalation of drug-related violence in the past six years under president Felipe Calderón is a principal concern of the Mexican public, yet it is still a grey issue in the current campaign. As elpais.com reports:

Not Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), nor Josefina Vázquez Mota, of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) nor Andrés Manuel López Obrador (of the left) mentioned the tragedy of the victims in the two televised debates, and have tiptoed around the problem in rallys, limiting themselves to reiterating already-imposed and unsuccessful measures of the Calderón Government.

Having originally justified the Mexico’s War on Drugs in the hope that Mexico would not become a narco state, Calderón’s decision is viewed by many as ill-advised in the long term, as the situation is out of control in some areas of the country. While Peña Nieto has taken some steps towards developing a consistent political policy through his idea of creating a 40,000 member paramilitary force, this concept is not without sizable flaws as well. As the election nears, it is unlikely that any candidate will voice a strong policy regarding this issue for fear of losing potential voters. One may only hope that once in office, whichever candidate is elected will make the Drug War a top priority.

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