‘Drug gangs have won parts of Mexico’

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto admits that organized crime gangs have gained the upper hand in a violent part of the country, as the government is facing difficulties to restrain powerful drug cartels.

Nietoâ„¢s remarks came on Thursday after recent clashes between officers and the Knights Templar drug cartel left 22 dead in the western state of Michoacan.

”I think some areas have been lost…. there have been areas that have been abandoned or that have, unfortunately, been won by organized crime,” said Nieto.

The president also acknowledged that the conflict generated by criminals in the state of Michoacan has happened in other regions, including the states of Mexico and Guerrero, located in the center and southwest parts of the country.

In May, Nieto ordered a large military presence in Michoacan as the Knight Templar continued to terrorize towns and set ablaze businesses and homes of anyone who opposed its power.

Michoacan is one of the countryâ„¢s poorest states and is home to traditional drug routes. It is also a major hub for the production of methamphetamine in Mexico.

Drug-related violence in Mexico has killed more than 70,000 people since former President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against Mexicoâ„¢s drug cartels in December 2006.

President Enrique Pena Nieto has vowed to fight the violence as he continues the campaign against drug cartels.

However, official data show that every month an additional 1,000 people die in violence linked to the countryâ„¢s drug cartels.

CAH/SS

Republished from: Press TV