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Coparmex head Gustavo de Hoyos defends ex-president's security strategy. Coparmex head Gustavo de Hoyos defends ex-president's security strategy.

Narcos would dominate if not for Calderón’s maligned strategy: business leader

Former president made 'a great contribution to the fight against insecurity'

Narcos would dominate Mexico today if former president Felipe Calderón hadn’t implemented his controversial war on drugs security strategy, a business leader said on Wednesday.

“President Calderón made a great contribution to the fight against insecurity that is still not understood,” Mexican Employers Federation (Coparmex) president Gustavo de Hoyos told the television program La Nota Dura.

“[His strategy] has been stigmatized, it has been graded unfairly but if there hadn’t been an all-out fight against insecurity in that presidential term . . . Today we would be practically dominated by narcos . . . we would live in complete anarchy,” he said.

The current government is highly critical of the confrontational strategy that was implemented by Calderón in late 2006 and perpetuated by his successor Enrique Peña Nieto, arguing that it turned Mexico into a cemetery.

However, its own strategy, which favors avoiding the use of force wherever possible, has failed to reduce high levels of violent crime.

Felipe Calderón has been blamed for current levels of insecurity.
Felipe Calderón has been blamed for current levels of insecurity.

De Hoyos acknowledged the government’s efforts to combat corruption and save public money through its austerity program but said that citizens are still waiting for better results in those areas and in security.

“We approved the proposal to revive the Secretariat of Security, we approved the effort to create the National Guard but now almost a year after [the government took office] the results have to start to arrive,” he said.

The Coparmex president claimed that the government has taken decisions that have damaged Mexico’s institutional system and systematically violated the law. In the latter category, de Hoyos cited the cancelation of the previous government’s airport project and the appointment of Rosario Piedra Ibarra as president of the National Human Rights Commission.

He also argued that the government is the main cause of the loss of confidence in the economy (growth is stagnant but statistics released this week show that foreign investment increased 7.8% in the first nine months of the year).

“Growing [the economy] is not an option. It’s the base for . . . greater tax revenue and to generate more employment and prosperity. The country has the conditions to do it [grow] but we have to start with the basics of rebuilding confidence,” de Hoyos said.

The business leader criticized López Obrador for failing in the presidential task of bringing the country together.

“The [government’s] narrative is unfortunately opting for polarization. Not since the ‘70s have we seen people’s right to disagree violated from the presidency,” de Hoyos said.

“We’d never seen a president who [critically] points out a journalist by name, a media outlet by name, a businessman. A president should always call for unity and the president today is not fulfilling that task.”

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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