With a year to go until the presidential election, voters are tiring of the drug war
Jun 30th 2011 | MEXICO CITY
FOR most of Felipe Calderón’s four-and-a-half years as Mexico’s president, voters have worried more about jobs than crime. Since 2001 average income growth per person has been below 1% a year, one of the lowest rates in the world. Whereas the drug war has raged mainly along the cocaine trail, with two-thirds of its estimated 40,000 killings occurring in just 3% of the country’s municipalities, economic hardship has touched nearly everyone.
That is changing. For the first time under Mr Calderón, security is now a greater concern for Mexicans than the economy is. That is partly because GDP is growing again: last year it rose by 5.5%. But it is also because the violence caused by the crackdown on gangs continues to spread. Last year the government recorded more than five times as many mafia-linked murders as in 2007. A tally by Reforma, a newspaper, suggests that this year has been worse still. In March Mr Calderón’s approval ratings dipped below 50% for the first time.