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Calderon claims to be toughest Mexican president on drugs

12-02-2010 11:18 BJT

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday that his administration fought drug traffickers more forcefully than any other predecessor.

"The war on drug trafficking has inflicted a loss of more than 10.9 billion U.S. dollars on these criminal organizations," Calderon said at a live-broadcast event marking the fourth anniversary of his presidency.

"This year alone, we have arrested Arturo Beltran Levya, Edgar Valdez and Antonia Cardenas," he added, referring to the drug lords netted in January, August and November, respectively.

Calderon said his government had acted not just against violent criminals, but also the logistics and financing that supports drug smuggling. It had arrested a total of 125,117 people in meeting that goal, announced days after he took office in 2006.

"We have purged, professionalized, retrained and equipped federal justice institutions," he added.

Malcolm Beith, author of The Last Narco, a definitive study on

Mexico's drug traffickers, only agreed with part of Calderon's claims.

"There is no doubt that Calderon has been tougher than his predecessors, in terms of military might, arrests, rooting out corruption and extraditions."


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