Mexico Institute in the News: Violence Levels Off in Some Parts of Mexico, but Spreads to Others

Feb 04, 2012

The Associated Press, February 4, 2012; Business Mirror, February 11, 2012

The Mexican drug war has claimed more than 51,000 lives in the past five years, and while initial signs point to the conflict stabilizing in some of the bloodiest areas, particularly along the Texas border, the violence is increasingly spreading into the country’s interior, according to analysts and government officials...

...Calderón remains defiant in his decision to tackle the cartels, even as opposition grows on the part of political rivals and nongovernmental organizations. They question not so much the reason for going after cartels, whose power had long been established, but whether his administration was adequately prepared to face an enemy that has penetrated the very fabric of society and public institutions.

Calderón recently reiterated that his strategy is based on weakening cartels, capturing top leaders, confiscating their assets and strengthening judicial institutions. The key, he said, is to strengthen the social fabric through a more vibrant civil society...

...“The administration has focused on capturing, killing, extraditing people and has argued that the violence is a regrettable but necessary piece to that strategy,”

said Eric Olson, a Mexico expert at the nonpartisan Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

“But if you lost a daughter, son, brother or sister, it’s not a satisfying argument. It’s hard to convince the Mexican public that this is success.”...



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