Mexican President Felipe Calderon this week compared the United States to a drug addict as he sought to shore up support for his antidrug efforts at home. “It is as though we have a neighbor next door who is the biggest addict in the world, with the added fact that everyone wants to sell drugs through our house,” said Calderon, the New York Times reported June 14.
The U.S. demand for drugs, and the relative ease of obtaining weaponry across the border, are at least in part to blame for Mexico’s drug woes, he said.
The remarks were part of a 5,000-word defense of Calderon’s drug policy published in the wake of the deadliest 24-hour period in his presidency, which saw 85 drug-related killings across Mexico.
Following the comments, published in local newspapers and on the presidential website, another 10 federal officers were killed in a shootout with traffickers, and 28 inmates and three guards died in a prison revolt the same day.
The president emphasized that his administration would not back down from the drug war, even as violence escalates.
“If we remain with our arms crossed,” Calderon wrote, “violence will increase and we’ll lose our freedom.”