Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon said he plans to quell Mexico’s drug violence by the end of his term, which ends in 2012, the Washington Post reported Feb. 27.
Calderon said that the violence in Mexico (6,290 killed in 2008, and 1,000 killed in the first two months of 2009) indicates that the drug cartels are responding to pressure from Mexican military and police operations.
“To say that Mexico is a failed state is absolutely false,” Calderon said. “I have not lost any part — any single part — of Mexican territory.”
The U.S. Joint Forces Command said that Mexico and Pakistan were at risk of “rapid and sudden collapse.” As drug violence in Mexico increased, Calderon was pressured to change tactics. Calderon said that wouldn’t be an option. “Yes, we will win,” he said, “and of course there will be many problems meanwhile.”
Mexico has spent $6.5 billion fighting the cartels over and above its regular public security budget. However, Mexican drug gangs bring in $10 billion each year, and the rate of drug violence more than doubled in 2008. Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said the increase in violence indicates that drug gangs are “melting down.”
Calderon called on the U.S. government to step up its efforts to deal with the drug-related corruption and gun smuggling.
“I’m fighting corruption among Mexican authorities and risking everything to clean house, but I think a good cleaning is in order on the other side of the border,” he said.