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Felipe Calderon

Felipe Calderon

Felipe Calderon. The former president of Mexico, is best known for waging a war on the Mexican drug cartels.

Felipe Calderon is best known for his waging a war on the Mexican drug cartels among other controversial policies. Mr Calderon came from a political background and caused quite a stir in the lead up to his first election for President, falling out with some important Mexican figures. He will not be forgotten for his war on drugs and taking on the powerful cartels and their violent tactics they use while trafficking drugs to North America.

President of Mexico between 2006 and 2012

Felipe Calderon served as the president of Mexico between 2006 and 2012. He is married to a woman called Margarita Zavala; together they have three children.

Calderon is famous for taking on the Mexican drug cartels. The Mexican people have mixed feelings about him however, as many people have lost their lives as a result of his anti-cartel initiative as well as the large investment the Mexican government has put into this war that seems to have no end. Calderon comes from a very political family. His father was one of the founders of the PAN party (National Action Party). Calderon has a bachelor's degree in law and a master's degree economics. He would later go to the prestigious Harvard University and receive a Master of Public Administration degree in 2000. He joined his father’s PAN party as a young man and served as chairman for a short time. Calderon was elected as president in 2006. The election itself was quite controversial given that the supporters of Calderon’s main opponent accused him of election fraud.

Early on in Calderon’s presidency, in order to pacify supporters of his former rival, he adopted some of the political initiatives of his rival such as a price cap for tortillas and a pay raise for the armed forces. As a member of the Cabinet President Fox, Calderon fell out with fellow PAN politician Santiago Creel and then-President Vincent Fox. Mr. Fox angered Calderon by criticizing Calderon's presidential ambitions as well as showing support for Creel in public.

Calderon was a controversial leader in other ways. For example, he disagreed with religious authorities on issues such as abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. Additionally, he declared an all-out war on the Mexican drug cartels. Drug cartels have become increasingly powerful by smuggling drugs from Mexico to their northern neighbors, making billions of dollars each year. Calderon has been the first president to openly take them on. His predecessors had simply chosen to “let sleeping dogs lie”. Calderon formed close bonds with the presidents of the U.S. and Canada as a result of his efforts.

Some of his actions in the war against these gangs have included confiscating money, drugs and weapons. Unsurprisingly, Calderon’s initiative infuriated the cartels who responded with a wave of violence. Calderon was responsible for capturing several cartel leaders, in some cases they were killed in police actions. This sometimes brutal war has created great displeasure among Mexicans for the brutality and wonton violence that has been uncorked. Despite Calderon’s best efforts, and the efforts of the subsequent President, people are continuing to lose their lives to the cartels. Calderon’s term came to an end in 2012. Enrique Pena Nieto, the new president of Mexico, promised to continue Calderon's drug war.

In the face of a violent drug war, Felipe Calderon has been able to pass legislation in the area of the environment, employment, infrastructure and trade. Mexico, during Felipe Calderon's term, the economy had remained fairly stable and friendly towards foreign investment. At the end of his term, Calderon received an approval rating 66% and when abandoned office a final survey put his popularity at 46%. Considering the challenges and problems faced by Calderon the balance of his presidency, while not spectacular, has been considered positive.