From Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who controls broadcaster TV Azteca SAB and retailer Grupo Elektra SAB, to the parents of bystanders killed in shootouts, criticism of Calderon’s U.S.-supported crackdown is growing. Salinas urged Mexico and the U.S. in a March 19 interview to legalize drugs. Soldiers on the streets have exacerbated the violence, he said.
In his book “Drug Trafficking: The Failed War” published in October, Jorge Castaneda, foreign minister under Calderon’s predecessor, President Vicente Fox, wrote that Calderon’s military offensive on crime was designed to legitimize his presidency after a disputed election.
Голос Америки: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Arturo Valenzuela has portrayed the surge of violence as a sign Calderon’s tactics are working. During her visit last year to Mexico, Clinton praised Calderon’s unprecedented use of more than 50,000 army and navy troops to take on the gangs that ship cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines and heroin to the U.S. Yesterday Calderon’s office said in a statement that President Barack Obama had called to express his backing for Mexico’s efforts.