Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peña Nieto and the Drug War

Enrique Peña Nieto said that if the PRI returns to Los Pinos in 2012, the war against drugs will not come to an end. Peña Nieto's opinions on issues of national importance are less than fully formed, and this may well be a conscious effort to reassure Mexicans that he won't be a radical change. I also think it demonstrates the fact that broad strategic alternatives to Calderón's approach aren't really on the radar screen for Mexico's political class. The next president will likely make some significant changes to nation's security policy, but it's hard to imagine any leader loudly celebrating a decision to reduce the federal security presence by 50 percent around the nation or slashing security budgets by a third. In other words, it seems as though most politicians don't think that most voters want an end to the aggressive combat of organized crime; they want to see a more competent, less violent version of Calderón's policy.

Whether or not that's really plausible in the near term is another debate altogether.

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