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April 15th, 2009
12:20 PM ET

Mexico will not become failed narco-state, says former president

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox speaks to CNN's John Roberts about drug violence across the border.
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox speaks to CNN's John Roberts about drug violence across the border.

Mexico is not in danger of becoming a failed narco-state any time soon.

That’s according to Vicente Fox, the former President of Mexico, who spoke with us on the eve of President Obama’s trip to Mexico city. Watch the interview

Fox dismissed the warnings of a growing number of analysts, saying the worst-case scenario is “far, far, away.”

As for who is to blame for the surge in drug cartel violence, Fox refused to point fingers, saying both sides share responsibility – Mexico, for its role as a producer and trans-shipment point for illegal drugs, the United States for its insatiable appetite.

“We don’t have to blame each other,” said Fox this morning, “what we have to do is work together. Meet the challenge and solve the problem.”

During his administration (2000-2006), Fox launched a crackdown on the drug lords – what he dubbed “the Mother of All Battles.” He put thousands of people in jail, but he was criticized for leaving a power vacuum among the cartels, which erupted into the violent turf wars that rage to this day.

And unlike his successor, Felipe Calderon, who is using the power of the Mexican military to crush the cartels in places like Ciudad Juarez, Fox relied on the far more corruption-prone federal police to go after the drug runners.

Fox swats away such criticisms as so much nattering from the previous Mexican administration, which he claims allowed corruption to flourish.

While he applauds the measures taken by President Calderon to attack drug violence, he doesn’t think the U.S. should use similar tactics to go after cartel operations on this side of the border. “I would not recommend the army,” he said, “I think that’s why we have police forces for – to meet this challenge and cut that supply and reduce the demand.”

As for President Obama’s upcoming trip to crime-ridden, sometimes violent Mexican capital, Fox believes the President will have a safe trip, one that will result in a spirit of “joint responsibility” to tackle the drug cartels.

John Roberts

Filed under: Drugs • Mexico
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. JDNice

    Fox is an intelligent man, but he has to be honest with himself and admit that his country is a Narco-State and has been for many years. He is being 'political' as he has to. He lives in a marble palace shrouded from the true mexicans who see the violence and moral decay that has become the Mexican Police force (which includes Judges). The police only arrest competing drug dealers that don't pay them their cut. Fact. The good cops in Mexico are all dead (I guess no one watches mexican news out of Tijuana and Juarez, because they would know then). Vincente Fox you will only leave behind a legacy of a Narco-State that defeated the PRI but couldn't keep their own conscience from raping, kidnapping and extorting the masses. You may have tried, but you failed.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  2. Serenden J Whitaker

    u have a very valid opinion and point. and that ending statement on your first comment is true but also not. if cannabis were legalized wit would create even more jobs, the people that have jobs aren't going to lose them, and taxpayers money wouldn't be wasted on housing non-violent offenders in jail, when they should be taking to rehab if necessary... and the revenue from cannabis could be used to fund rehabilitation programs and education on drugs. farmers could grow cannabis, factory workers could fabricate its variety of uses such as textile, feed, bedding, paper, clothes, oil, cooking herb, skin care and etc., and not only can it be fabricated to be used but just grown and dried it could be taxed sold and smoked.

    plenty of jobs across the nation would be created, crime rates in Mexico, and even the U.S. with our own drug dealers, would greatly decrease, and billions in taxpayer and federal money would be saved and used for better things like rehab like i mentioned, rather than housing non-violent offenders like they are sexual predators and murderers, when the non-violent offender more than likely doesn't even have a record.

    we need to stop wasting money on a war in vein, and spend money on the victims of that war like prisoners rehab programs, children drug education, etc.. stop forcing Americans to give their money to cartels giving them more power and allow us to keep the money with in the U.S..

    go to this link that I've provided below and you'll see the marijuana myths and the facts about those myths.

    peace and love to you all.

    and remember to show intelligence in your argument in studying the whole aspect of this subject. Please don't be ignorant, if you feel you should argue your point, know that there are cons to legalizing cannabis but i say that so you know how to combat those arguments against legalization.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  3. luis

    The reason I will not partipate in the economy is because of interest rate and greed. I have a mortgage that if paid off over its term would cost me twice as much as its worth, so i make extra payments so that wont happen. If i finance a vehicle, I'll end up paying twice it's worth and end up with a car worth half as much. it blows my mind that finace institues are lent money at one rate, then gouge the consumer. Since I do have a choice, I will no longer bind my hands for the sake of helping the economy. What happened to the day when you had to put money down for something you wanted. But then i'm sure the credit industry would then be crying foul. I don't mind someone making a profit, but when they get greedy and try to suck out every last penny from thanks to the more spending to help the economy.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  4. luis

    legalizing all drugs would save millions in dollars and save all those poor lives lost on the futile fight on drugs. The police spend so much time with drug raids and arrest only to have the criminals released. government should allow safe zones where one can buy and use the drugs. If there are sold outside these safe havens then there should be some kind of punishment (such as no selling around schools or churhes). But then again, by keeping drugs illegal does keep a lot of people employed...the police, judgesg,lawyers,jailers,doctors,nurses,newsreporters,undertakers..and so on.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:38 pm |