Only 26 percent of Mexicans believe their government is winning its war against drug cartels, but most approve of the crackdown on the narcotics trade, according to a new survey by independent researchers in Mexico.
Titled “Citizenry, Democracy and Drug Violence,” the survey was previewed Wednesday during a conference at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Drug violence has killed an estimated 47,500 Mexicans since 2006, and President Felipe Calderon’s hard-knuckled campaign against the cartels is a hotly debated issue among presidential candidates running in the July 1 election.
The survey found that 64 percent of Mexicans polled generally approve of the government’s posture toward drug cartels.
More than 60 percent say they would vote for a candidate who takes a hard stance on drug trafficking, regardless of whether it results in more violence.
Only 25 percent would support a candidate who proposed negotiations with drug cartels to reduce violence.
The survey was conducted by researchers from a variety of Mexican groups and backed by the Democracy and Security Analysis Collective, a Mexican non-government organization.