The U.S. must reduce the demand for cocaine and other illegal drugs if it expects Mexico to succeed in defeating drug cartels, says President-elect Felipe Calderon, the Houston Chronicle reports. Calderon begins his six-year term Dec. 1. Turf wars for the lucrative smuggling routes to U.S. cities have left a record 1,500 people dead in Mexico this year. Victims include five men whose decapitated heads were dumped in a night club in Michoacan state this week. “It’s not just about fighting the supply,” Calderon said. “It’s fundamental that the United States work to reduce the demand, because otherwise this will never stop.”
Calderon outlined his “huge agenda” for fighting the traffickers, which included some familiar items: Clean up the corruption-riddled police force, improve anti-narcotics officials’ access to technology, create a national criminal data base, and reform the overcrowded prison system. Calderon, a lawyer who studied briefly at Harvard, also said he “would lobby for legalization of the estimated 6 million undocumented Mexicans living in the U.S. before President Bush leaves office in January 2009.