Some 50% Mexicans: Drug violence worse

Medical personnel remove the body of a victim killed in drug violence in Monterrey, Mexico. (file photo)

A newly-released survey shows roughly half of Mexicans feel drug-related violence has worsened since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office.

The poll by El Universal/Buendia & Laredo and released on Friday found that 49 percent of those surveyed believed the drug violence had increased since December of last year when Nieto became president.

The figure was up by nine points compared to the same poll conducted in February.

The poll also showed that 34 percent of people felt Nieto’s security strategy had made Mexico less safe.

The results are a setback for Nieto who vowed to break his predecessorâ„¢s military-led tactics and to end the brutal drug war in the country.

Nieto has said he wants to lower crime by targeting crimes such as kidnapping and extortion, with plans of a militarized police force to take the place to the army in the conflict.

However, Nieto recently scaled back his plans of a 40,000-strong force to 5,000 officers. The measure has led experts to question how Nietoâ„¢s drug policy is different from his predecessor Felipe Calderon.

Critics of Nieto’s policy say the recent arrests of key figures within the countryâ„¢s drug cartels, only serves to split the gangs and increase the violence.

Mexican police have in the past two months arrested Mario Ramirez Trevino a suspected boss of the Gulf Cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino the leader of the Zetas and Mario Nunez Meza a notorious drug operator.

Meanwhile, Nieto admitted on July 25 that organized criminal gangs have gained the upper hand in several parts of the country, including the states of Michoacan, Mexico and Guerrero, despite increased military troops in the areas.

Official figures show that since Nieto took office, about 1,000 people have died each month in drug-related violence and the army is still fighting cartels across large parts of the country.

Nearly 80,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since former President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against Mexicoâ„¢s drug cartels in December 2006.

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Republished from: Press TV