Blog: Mexican media blames Calderón, as new body count emerges

2012-11-27T14:45:00Z 2012-11-27T14:54:55Z Blog: Mexican media blames Calderón, as new body count emergesTim Steller, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 27, 2012 2:45 pm  • 

Coincidentally, the day we published my story on efforts to count the dead and disappeared in Mexico, the Tijuana newspaper Zeta published its own count.

Zeta's bottom-line conclusion: During President Felipe Calderon's six-year term, there were 83,191 killings likely related to organized crime, out of a total of 115,158 murders. In other words, the story concludes, about 73 percent of the total murders during Calderon's presidency stemmed from organized crime.

Zeta's headline calls Calderón, "The President of the 83,000 killings."

In a similar vein, the cover of Mexico City news magazine Proceso this week shows a picture of Calderón, looking downcast, with the headline "The nightmare ends."

This is a theme running through the coverage of the end of Calderon's term. Whatever else he may have done, he is being remembered as the president who unleashed violence across the country.

Last week, I asked Eric Olson, of the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute, about Calderón's legacy. He insisted that the president's successful management of the economy, despite a horrible economic and security environment, is one of Calderón's legacies.

Olson acknowledged, though: "The exploding, historically high levels of violence due to organized crime is going to be part of his legacy, whether he wants it or not. The question becomes, are his policies at fault, or is it simply a bad situation that he tried to make better."

McClatchy's Mexico City reporter, Tim Johnson, reported today that lawsuits by human rights groups and others will likely dog Calderon after he leaves office and the legal shield the presidency provides. Johnson writes: 

Calderon has crisscrossed Mexico in recent weeks in a race to cut ribbons on bridges, highways, clinics and schools in a fight to shape his image around issues other than the “drug war.”

But soaring death rates and extraordinary brutality between cartels during much of his six-year term, coinciding with his decision to send troops to combat gangsters, is likely to be his legacy, and keep him occupied, both in and out of court.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

When you're a reporter digging deep, you turn up a lot of dirt. But that doesn't mean you can put all the good dirt in the story.

I've found myself with a lot of extra, good dirt in my new role as senior reporter (hence, Señor Reporter), writing primarily for the Arizona Daily Star's Sunday paper.

Check in often, and let's see what we can turn up.

Contact Tim Steller at (520) 807-8427 or tsteller@tucson.com

Twitter feed: Tim Steller

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...