March 9, 2012, Arizona Republic News, 12 News Arizona

Mexico’s U.S.-backed war against violent drug cartels could undergo a tactical shift, depending on which of the candidates vying to replace outgoing President Felipe Caldern wins this summer’s Mexican presidential election...

...Analysts said they expect the next Mexican president to remain committed to the fight, but the strategy may shift from Caldern’s heavy reliance on the Mexican military to greater use of the civilian police force and more emphasis on creating jobs and social programs to keep young Mexicans from joining the cartels...

“There will be variations in approaches among the candidates, but I think they all know that there is no appetite in Mexico for the government to turn its back on the war against organized crime,”

said Eric Olson, a senior associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“I think that’s the reassuring message for the United States.”

Less reliance on the Mexican military doesn’t worry U.S. officials as long as the new Mexican president remains committed to battling the cartels, Olson said.

“All three of the candidates came out and said they were committed to continuing the war, and that’s what Biden wanted,”

Olson said...


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