Mexico’s new gov’t follows Calderon drug war strategy

Mexico's new gov't follows Calderon drug war strategy

MEXICO CITY (AP) — With the capture of two top drug lords in little more than a month, the new government of President Enrique Pena Nieto is following an old strategy it openly criticized for causing more violence and crime.

Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, a top leader of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, was detained Saturday in a military operation near the Texas border, just weeks after the arrest of the leader of the brutal Zetas cartel near another border city, Nuevo Laredo.

Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong took his post in December saying the strategy of former President Felipe Calderon to take out cartel leaders only made drug gangs more dangerous and violent. The new administration would focus less on leaders and more on reducing violence, he said.

Yet the new strategy appears almost identical to the old. The captures of Ramirez and top Zeta Miguel Angel Trevino Morales could cause a new spike in violence with battles over leadership of Mexico’s two major cartels.

“The strategy of the military is exactly the same,” Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, said Sunday. “It’s not a failure of the new government. It’s the reality they face … Changing strategy is a very slow process. In the short term, you have to act against the drug-trafficking leaders.”

Federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez insisted at a news conference Sunday that there have been key changes in strategy. Most important, he said, is an unprecedented coordination among security entities, including federal police, the attorney general, branches of the military and …Read full story here: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/article_a5f19ef6-08e5-11e3-a43c-0019bb30f31a.html

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