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Why a truce between Mexico and the drug cartels makes no sense

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Moises Castillo/AP

(Read caption) Former Mexican president Vicente Fox (in a 2006 file photo here) recently caused an uproar after saying that Mexican authorities should seek a truce with drug gangs.

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In response to the latest massacre of Mexican citizens by criminal groups, former President Vicente Fox said the authorities should seek a truce with the drug gangs – a suggestion that simply is not feasible in today's Mexico. One reason is that Mexico truly is, for all its faults, a democracy, which couldn’t be said in the 1980s and most of the 1990s.

The former president's statement came in response to the recent arson attack on a Monterrey casino, one of the most deadly strikes on a public place in recent years, which left 52 dead. Mr. Fox, who was quite aggressive toward Mexico drug gangs while in office from 2000 to 2006, told a gathering at the close of a course on public security that “the levels of cruelty that we are seeing and experiencing are enormous,” and that the solution is to “call the violent groups to a truce and evaluate the advantages of an amnesty law.”

This reflects a sentiment that, while still a minority opinion, seems to be growing more common in Mexico. However, it was quickly slammed by a number of political heavyweights.

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