|Mexican President Felipe Caleron|
To appreciate his legacy, we must recall that Mexico was not enjoying peace in December 2006. Powerful drug cartels were already at war with each other, and the government was already fighting back. Security analyst Viridiana Ríos of Harvard has shown that the violence began to increase as early as 2004.
If anyone doubts that, consider these Mexican news items from late 2004 and early 2005:
* In December 2004, U.S. consul Michael Yoder told Reuters that at least 22 American citizens had either disappeared or been kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo over the previous four months.
* On January 21, 2005, after six prison workers were executed by drug traffickers in the city of Matamoros (which sits next door to Brownsville, Texas), President Fox vowed to wage the “mother of all battles” against those responsible for the killings.The new president, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), basically had four options: 1.) Confront the drug cartels with federal, state, and local police forces. 2.) Confront them with the military. 3.) Try to cut a deal with the cartels that would allow them to continue most of their criminal activities, provided they kept the violence to a minimum. 4.) Ignore them and hope for the best. Read more