Latin America: Week in Review, Mexico

Mexico: Calderón Claims PRI Considers Deals With Drug Cartels

October 17, 2011 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story— As election season in Mexico begins to heat up, President Felipe Calderón said that members of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) may work with drug cartels. Calderón, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) who began his assault of the nation’s drug cartels shortly after taking office in 2006, said that there are many PRI members who “think the deals of the past would work now,” according to an interview with The New York Times. He did not say specifically which PRI members he was referring to. His comments come a day after he said a state governed by the PRI had been left in the hands of a drug cartel. Other members of PAN and some analysts have criticized the PRI – once Mexico’s dominant political party that held sway for seven decades – for making secret deals with drug cartels in the past to keep the peace in Mexico. Calderón’s comments are rare in country where the president largely stays away from party politics and may be a sign of his anger toward the PRI, which has been extremely critical of the drug war’s high death toll. “This is really serious,” said Javier Oliva, a political scientist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “The president has an obligation to prove this now. To name names…The president is regressing into a negative stance of being president of the PAN, and not president of Mexico.”

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