Dave Rice 7:19 a.m., May 22
Mexico’s President-Elect Not in Favor of Drug Legalization
The newly elected president of Mexico, who will take office on December 1st as long as election results stand, has stated he is not in favor of the legalization of drugs. Enrique Peña Nieto, the presumed president-elect, has made multiple statements about reforming the way the drug war is being conducted.
Many critics of Peña Nieto and his party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI or Institutional Revolutionary Party), have expressed concern that the new leader will not be hard enough on organized crime and drug trafficking. The party has a tattered image among many as making deals with criminal organizations, instead of cracking down on them.
Peña Nieto spoke with Fareed Zakaria of CNN the past week, and the interview aired on Sunday June 8th. "Yes, I do believe we should open up a new debate regarding how to wage war on drug trafficking. Personally, I'm not in favor of legalizing drugs. I'm not persuaded by that as an argument. However, let's open up a new debate, a review, in which the U.S. plays a fundamental role in conducting this review," said Peña Nieto.
Peña Nieto and his party are expected to focus on peace in Mexico, not taking down high level criminals or stopping drugs from flowing to the United States.
A recount of over half of the presidential ballots confirmed that Peña Nieto won the election by count of votes. The runner-up, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, alleges the PRI bought votes. Among the allegations are that politicians at the state level persuaded voters to select the PRI by giving out gift cards to grocery stores, some which were not valid.
Investigations by the federal electoral tribunal are expected to begin soon to determine any foul play.