Colombian president Álvaro Uribe predicted that Mexican counterpart
Felipe Calderon’s controversial efforts to combat the increasingly
violent drug war that is wracking his nation would be successful.
“When you live in a country like Colombia that has already faced
that intense fight against crime, one is very happy to see efforts like
those of President Calderon,” Uribe told business leaders in Monterrey
on Sunday night.
Calderon has been criticized for deploying
federal troops to the streets to combat violent turf wars between rival
drug cartels. The savage battles have left hundreds of people dead and
often decapitated across northern and western Mexico. The carnage among
police is particularly high, leaving many officers fearful or
susceptible to corruption.
Organized crime has become “a profound
crisis that is affecting many Latin American countries and particularly
Mexico,” said Nuevo Leon state governor Jose Natividad Gonzalez. “It’s
Uribe emphasized Colombia’s own work to
slow the flow of drugs and assist U.S. prosecutors, noting that his
government had carried out some 900 extradition orders since he took
office and has seen crime and kidnappings fall sharply.
Colombia is world’s top producer of cocaine, while Mexico has become a major transit point.
did not say how Mexico would win its drug war, but he and Calderon plan
to discuss security issues in Mexico City on Monday.
conference Uribe attended in Monterrey will also address energy issues,
the significance of growing Asian markets, and U.S. policy under a
newly elected President Barack Obama. (AP)