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Latino Daily News

Wednesday March 30, 2011

People of Mexico Feel Cartels are Winning Drug War, Says Poll

People of Mexico Feel Cartels are Winning Drug War, Says Poll

Photo: Mexicans discouraged about drug war

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A recent poll of Mexicans revealed that many believe the cartels are winning the drug war in their country.

The Demotecnia poll, released Tuesday, reported that six out of 10 Mexicans believe that drug cartels are maintaining control in the drug war that President Felipe Calderon began when he took office in 2006.

Demotecnia director Maria de las Heras said the poll shows the frustrations the people of Mexico have over the president’s policies on organized crime.

“The drug war has not worked out well, according to the poll,” De las Heras told McClatchy. “He has put all his political capital into this, and the perception at least, maybe not the reality, is that it is going very badly. The majority of people are not satisfied.”

Calderon, is in his fifth year of his six-year presidential term, and his party – The National Action Party – is scrambling to find a candidate for elections in 2012. In Mexico, presidents only serve one six-year term.

When Calderon took office he began an army-back offensive against the drug cartels. Though the initial attacks destabilized the drug organizations, it resulted in rising number of deaths. In 2009, about 9,600 Mexicans were killed, and last year that number jumped to 15,273. In total, more than 35,000 people have died in drug-related violence since Calderon became president.

De las Heras said Mexicans feel discouraged, as demonstrated by the fact that 59 percent of those polled said Mexico is either worse or just as bad off as when Calderon first took office.

Also, when asked if they believed Calderon had firm control of the country or if he was losing control, 67 percent said he was not in control.

“The sense is that we’re in a tunnel where it is hard to see the other side,” De las Heras said, adding that the negative outlook of Mexico’s people is, in part, due to the fact that they see few better strategies.