Mexican President Felipe Calderon defended his government’s approach to combating crime and drugs Monday during his final state of the nation address.
More than 47,500 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when Calderon took office and announced plans to deploy troops to combat cartels.
He steps down in December.
“What’s clear … is that we’ve made advances Mexicans should feel proud of,” the president said, adding that it may take years for his government’s efforts to come to full flower. “Mexico has started along the path toward a life full of liberty and security.”
Calderon, who spoke at the National Palace, voiced support for the role of government troops in the drug war. Critics contend too many officials have ties to the cartels, are corrupt and are doing as much to help the traffickers as to stop them.
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