Latin America: Mexico Ex-President Fox Lashes Out at President Calderon Over Drug War

Latin America: Mexico Ex-President Fox Lashes Out at President Calderon Over Drug War For years, former Mexican President Vicente Fox has suggested that drug legalization needs to be on the agenda when discussing how to resolve prohibition-related problems like the wave of violence plaguing Mexico. Now, he's getting personal and political, as he attacks sitting President Felipe Calderon for what Fox is describing as a "failed" effort to send the military after the so-called drug cartels. Fox and Calderon are both members of the conservate National Action Party (PAN), and Calderon replaced Fox in the Mexican presidency in December 2006. With Mexico already stricken by violent conflict among the cartels and between the cartels and Mexican law enforcement, Calderon called out the military to join the fray, but matters have only gotten worse. An estimated 14,000 people have been killed in the conflicts since Calderon sent in the soldiers, with 2,000 being killed in one city—Ciudad Juarez—this year alone. Addressing reporters at the annual conference of the conservative European Popular Party in Vienna last weekend, Fox said Calderon's efforts against the cartels had gone astray and the military should return to the barracks. "The use of army in the fight against drug mafia and organized crime, the use of force against force gave no positive results. On the contrary, the number of crimes only grows," Fox told journalists on Saturday. "It's time to think of alternative ways to fight the crime," Fox said, adding that police and governments of Mexican states should be charged with anti-drug efforts on their territory, instead of federal forces. Not that Fox himself had much better luck against the cartels, nor was he averse to using the military. While Fox was president between 2000 and 2006, he deployed troops to Sonora, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and other states, especially after 2003, when violence began escalating. By 2005, nearly 1,400 were reported killed in the drug wars, and 2,000 more in 2006. But those levels of violence, which once seemed extraordinary, would now be a welcome relief after nearly three years of Calderon's campaign and the harsh response from the cartels. This year's toll in Ciudad Juarez alone matches the toll nationwide for the last year of the Fox era. Fox was also critical of the United States, saying it needed to do more to control arms trafficking, money laundering, and drug use. But he again questioned whether drug prohibition is the best way to attain those ends. "Drug consumption is a personal responsibility, not one of government, Fox said."Perhaps it is impossible to ask government to halt the supply of drugs to our children."
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spot on Mr. Fox!!!!!!!!!

spot on Mr. Fox!!!!!!!!! Calderon rigged the election anyway, taking a page out of george W bush's playbook. It was Florida 2000 all over again.

free trade,let's get on with it

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada with the recent deaths of two people from my province in Mexico and a gang war that has gone on in the streets of my city(Vancouver)for what seems like forever,this article strikes home in a big way.When I was dealing drugs here they thought the problem was way out of control and were sending people like me to prison for 4 years for my first sentence and I was lucky.I had friends that were in for far less and were doing up to 20.When Mr Fox tried to legalise small amounts of drugs the Bush administration was having none of it.Mexico has finally passed a much less ambitious but still far superior to our situations piece of legislation and the Obama administration did nothing to prevent it.This is just one example of many that have shown that the world is ready for an end to this prohibition that has ruined more lives than all the drugs in history.I only hope that there can be change in my country soon as my record doesn't allow travel and I don't think I could afford the Swiss standard of living anyway.

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