MEXICO CITY – Thirty percent of Mexicans think that victory in their government’s war on organized crime, which began in late 2006, is at least five years away, according to a survey published Monday in the daily El Universal.
Another 22 percent of the 1,000 adults consulted by pollster Buendia & Laredo believe it will take between one and three years to defeat the criminal gangs, while 20 percent say the task will be accomplished within five years.
With regard to the official strategy against organized crime, half of those interviewed say it has changed since Enrique Peña Nieto became president last Dec. 1, compared with 30 percent who say it’s the same as it was under Felipe Calderon, who governed from 2006-2012.
Forty-two percent of Mexicans believe that violence has increased “a lot or somewhat” since Peña Nieto took power, compared with 29 percent who say it remains the same and 27 percent who think there is now less violence.
A plurality, 29 percent, say the government’s primary goal should be to bring down the level of violence, compared with 25 percent who say that wiping out the drug cartels should be the No. 1 objective.
Public safety has been a priority for Mexicans since the increase in violence that accompanied Calderon’s militarized approach against the cartels.
Conflict among rival gangs and between criminals and security forces claimed around 70,000 lives during Calderon’s mandate.
In the first five months of the Peña Nieto government, the number of homicides was 5,296, down 14.4 percent from the corresponding period last year. EFE