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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:00, January 15, 2007
Mexico safer after military crackdown on violence: president
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Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Sunday that the country has become safer since he sent troops to fight drug-related violence during his first 45 days in office.

"Today Mexico has more peace and certainty than at the beginning of my term and that fills me with satisfaction," Calderon told a news conference at the presidential residence.

The president, who began his six-year term in December, defended his decision to send thousands of troops to several border states to combat waves of drug-related killings, saying the action has met its goal.

Soldiers have taken a number of measures such as burning hidden mountain-side marijuana crops, confiscating guns and busting drug gang members to curb violence.

Calderon said homicides have declined by 70 percent since his decision to fight violence with the military.

According to earlier government documents, the goal of the military action includes re-establishing minimum conditions of safety in areas that are most threatened by crime and recuperating authority in a territory that was challenged by crime.

Calderon also said his administration has taken steps to tackle poverty and create jobs.

"We have acted with decisiveness and energy to respond to the most urgent demands of the people: public safety, combating poverty and generating employment," he said.

Calderon is trying to win over poor Mexicans, who believe the president stole last July's presidential election against leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Obrador enjoyed support among the poor during the election campaign and labeled Calderon a candidate of big business and the rich.

Calderon also expressed his "most energetic protest" against the shooting death of an illegal Mexican migrant by a U.S. border patrol agent in Arizona on Friday. He said the government had demanded a full investigation.

Source: Xinhua

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