Feb 16, 2013

Is Mexico's war on drugs close to a real end?

February 15, 2013

The election of Enrique Pena Nieto last year marked the return to power of the Industrial Revolutionary Party (PRI) that had ruled the country for 71 years prior to the year 2000.

Pena Nieto promised the PRI was no longer a party of patronage and corruption, but a modern force focused on economic growth, poverty reduction and tackling the drug-related violence unleashed during the presidency of Felipe Calderon.

This week the president unveiled his plan to tackle crime and take on the cartels.

He appeared to reject Calderon's policy of force, instead promising to approach the problem through a $9.2bn investment in social programmes to address the root causes of crime.

The government says the programme will help keep young people from joining gangs. It is not clear though how much of that money is funding that is already been announced as part of other programmes.

The initiatives include road building, improved health and social services, help for single mothers to find jobs, better park grounds and lighting and increasing school hours.

The money is targeted at 251 towns and neighbourhoods considered the most violent in Mexico.

President Pena Nieto says the new strategy focuses on prevention - instead of deploying troops and sophisticated weapons to tackle drug violence.  Read more. 

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