|World Economic Forum
|President Felipe Calderon scolded “political forces” that don’t have the “vision” to support his Drug War
President Felipe Calderon of Mexico admitted on Sunday that despite five years of all-out war against the drug cartels in his country, the organizations continue to pose “an open threat” to democracy in Mexico. He must have lost the part of his speech that would have detailed how his own Drug War has done exactly the same thing.
In a frankly worded speech marking the start of his sixth and last year in office, Calderon said interference in elections by drug gangs “is a new fact, a worrisome fact,” reports Tracy Wilkinson at the Los Angeles Times
. “It is a threat to everyone,” Calderon said.
President Calderon was probably thinking about last month’s local elections in Michoacan, his home state, where drug traffickers intimidated voters and told people how to vote.
Those events have led to widespread fears about the drug cartels tampering with next July’s presidential election in Mexico.
|Mexico’s Drug War has taken more than 40,000 lives in the past five years
Calderon tried to defend his decision to use the Mexican military to fight the drug cartels and scolded “political forces” that don’t have the “vision” to support his Drug War, reports CNN
“This is a problem, friends, that has been developing for decades and that is showing us its true face, a face of violence, a face of evil,” Calderon said, calling the violence “one of the greatest challenges Mexico has faced in modern history.”
More than 40,000 people have died in Mexico’s Drug War since Calderon took office in December 2006. Thousands more have gone missing
or have been forced to flee their homes.
Criticism has steadily mounted over Mexico’s Drug War strategy and the country’s abysmal human rights record.
On November 25, a group of activists filed a 700-page complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, alleging more than 470 cases of human rights violations against women and children.
“What we are denouncing here are behaviors that are becoming systematic in the Army and Armed Forces such as rape, forced disappearances, killing of civilians and cover-ups of these killings,” said Netzai Sandoval, a lawyer representing the activist group. “A series of a disturbing number of violations against international humanitarian laws lead directly to Felipe Calderon’s responsibility.”
The request came with a petition signed by more than 23,000 people, led by a group of “mostly leftist” academics, jurists and journalists, reports José de Cordoba at The Wall Street Journal.
President Calderon’s office, naturally, claimed the allegations were “false and slanderous.”