In the wake of Mexico’s presidential election Sunday, analysts are expecting Mexico to launch a major “blitzkrieg surge” against the drug cartels during current president Felipe Calderon’s lame duck period.
The next president won’t take office until Dec. 1, leaving a five-month period during which Mexico is expected to intensify its drive against the drug cartels.
To the Mexican electorate – exhausted by six years of being affronted by the daily body count that was the product of Calderon’s militarization of the drug war – PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto promised to change strategy, and work to reduce violence.
“The task of the state, what should be its priority from my point of view, and what I have called for in this campaign, is to reduce the levels of violence,” he said in several interviews, by way of explaining his intention in shifting Calderon’s hard line against the various drug organizations operating throughout the country.
In private, however, Peña Nieto quietly reassured American officials that they could count on Mexico’s continued cooperation in current efforts to continue the war on drugs. A senior Obama official told reporters that Peña Nieto had assured the White House that “he is going to keep working with us.”
To make matters more complicated, Peña Nieto and Calderon have been working together, mindful of the opportunity presented by this lame-duck period – between July 1 and Dec. 1 – which affords Mexico the time frame to intensify military strikes against the drug cartels before the ...