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Attacks by Mexican drug cartels are being likened to a military campaign.
Only 28 percent of participants in a survey undertaken this week, during the attacks, believed that the government was winning its war against drug gangs, while 51 percent said the gangsters were winning. In the poll, taken by the Cabinet for Strategic Communications, another 21 percent said that neither side was winning,
The assaults also struck a painful blow to the morale of the federal police officers on the front line of the drug war.
“This is a very difficult time for us. Most of us are family men and we wonder if our jobs are really worth this much risk,” said a federal agent, who asked his name not be used in fear that such negative statements would be scolded by his commanders.
Since Calderon began his war on drug cartels in December 2006, more than 1,000 police and soldiers have been killed. There have been more than 12,000 drug-related slayings in that period.
The latest attacks were particularly demoralizing for Calderon as they all occurred in his home state of Michoacan — where he launched his crack down.
A lush mountainous region that touches the Pacific coast, Michoacan has long been a center of marijuana and opium cultivation.
In more recent years, its remote peaks have also spawned dozens of labs churning out crystal meth, the highly-addictive synthetic drug whose popularity has spread quickly in the United States.
This valuable drug-producing territory spawned a sinister and extremely violent cartel known as La Familia Michoacana, which claims thousands of members in the state.
In 2006, when Calderon was running for the presidency, La Familia hacked the heads off five rival drug traffickers and rolled them across a disco dance floor.