Mexico, being just before the July 1st presidential election, is undergoing a change in its drug policy. All candidates for the election have promised to change the strategies of the countries drug war to focus less on catching cartel related leaders and individuals, and more on reducing homicide and increasing the safety of its citizens. Enrique Peña, the current front runner has said: “The task of the state, what should be its priority from my point of view, and what I have called for in this campaign, is to reduce the levels of violence.”
The National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota states on her website that “results will be measured not by how many criminals are captured, but by how stable and secure the communities are.”
Previous attempts to eliminate drug cartels are seen as ineffective. From 2007 to 2011 drug-related murders rose to 8 times it’s original number from 2,000 to 16,000 incidents a year.
Gangs have also spread from their initial positions at the border to many major cities. Drug crime has spread to kidnapping, robbery and human trafficking. 79% of Mexicans don’t believe the current strategy is working.
Security has been a growing concern, as much or more than the economy for many Mexican citizens. Many optimistically hope this shift in policy will lead to a safer country.