WASHINGTON — Mexico’s ongoing drug war with the cartels has reached a new point: the Mexican government is sending an army general to fight the drug cartels. Reuters reports that current President Enrique Pena Nieto’s new security strategy is to put army generals in charge of anti-drug efforts.
In the bloody and violent state of Michoacan, Gen. Alberto Reyes took control of all federal, state and city police forces as the state’s newest security minister. This is an ongoing effort since the last president, Felipe Calderon, took office and made it his legacy to crack down on drug cartels.
The drug war with the cartels has been ongoing since 2006 and has cost up to 70,000 lives lost during that time. Pena Nieto is shifting his focus to battling crime and not hunting down drug lords and drug cartels.
It is a concerted effort by Pena Nieto to get the attention off of the drug cartels and onto the economy.
Michoacan is an epicenter of lawlessness and violence, with drug cartels battling state and city police and vigilante groups springing up to defend themselves and their communities. The state is also the center of the country’s methamphetamine production.
This has led to an exodus of businesses from the state as well as business closings.