Mexican presidential candidates mostly mute on drug wars

USA Today, 5/16/12

The discovery of 49 decapitated bodies on a highway leading to the U.S. border would seem like the time for Mexico’s presidential candidates to denounce the drug cartels and say how they will stop them. But none of the four candidates issued statements on the tragedy or posted comments on their Twitter accounts.

Not long after the news made headlines the world over, candidate Gabriel Quadri of the teacher-union-controlled New Alliance Party said via Twitter that the song Hot for Teacher was among his favorite Van Halen tunes. The reason for the silence, say political observers here, is no one has an answer for the violence.

“It’s an uncomfortable topic for which (the candidates) don’t have responses … or something clear to offer,” says Jorge Buendía, director of the polling firm Buendía & Laredo. The massacre in Nuevo León state, 95 miles from the U.S. border at McAllen, Texas, and two other mass murders over the prior 10 days, were reminders that drug cartels and organized crime remain serious threats to the rule of law in Mexico.

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