Jul 6, 2012

Mexico Drug War: Enrique Pena Nieto Could Target Small Gangs

AP: MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's next president has boldly promised to halve the number of kidnappings and murders during his six-year term by moving law enforcement away from showy drug busts and focusing on protecting ordinary citizens from gangs.

Yet Enrique Pena Nieto said remarkably little specific about his anti-crime strategy during the three-month campaign that ended with his still-contested victory in Sunday's election.

That ambiguity has fed fears at home and abroad that Pena Nieto might look the other way if cartels smuggle drugs northward without creating violence in Mexico. Many analysts wonder if Pena Nieto is holding back politically sensitive details of his plans, or simply doesn't know yet how he'll be prosecute the next stage of Mexico's drug war.

Some hints are starting to seep out. A close acquaintance, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, told The Associated Press that the president-elect has discussed a new offensive against the smaller, local gangs that have cropped up in many Mexican states and earn money through kidnapping and extortion in addition to drug dealing. Read more.

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