This summer, Mexicans will go to the polls to choose their country’s next commander-in-chief. But the new president will also have to deal with ominous developments in the drug war and the fact that few Mexicans believe the government’s strategy is working. He or she will also have to negotiate with the U.S. on the scope — and responsibilities — of America’s role in fighting the cartels.
The reason is stunning. More than half of Mexicans (52 percent) want an increased U.S. role in the drug war, and 28 percent want the U.S. military to intervene on Mexican soil, according to polling conducted by The Dallas Morning News, Mexico’s El Universal and Texas Spanish newspaper Al Día. Only 21 percent of Mexicans say the government’s strategy is working, though 64 percent think the military should continue “leading the fight” against the cartels. Ending the drug war through striking a deal with the gangsters is as popular as the current strategy: Only 21 percent think it’s a good idea.
“That tells you that Mexicans are really, really tired of this drug war, and they would rather see an end sooner than wait years fighting this by themselves,” Jorge Buendía, president of polling firm Buendía & Laredo, told The Dallas Morning News. Buendía added that because many Mexicans blame the U.S. in part for the drug war (with plenty of justification), many are becoming “more pragmatic and tolerant about alternatives.”