Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticized the announced visit of three former Latin American presidents who plan to meet with the country’s right-wing opposition, which is attempting to destabilize the country in order to overthrow the government.
Leading up to the meeting, Maduro issued a statement accusing former Mexican President Felipe Calderon of having ties to drug traffickers and of plotting with Venezuela’s U.S.-backed opposition leaders to kill him and topple his government.
Felipe Calderon. (Photo: AFP)
“The Mexican people cant stand him. The [ex] president is linked with drug trafficking groups and with assassins from right wing political parties.” Maduro stated. He added, “The Mexican, Chilean and Colombian people should know that these three former presidents are being paid with drug money.”
Human rights activists want the ICC to investigate President Calderon, top officials & the most-wanted drug trafficker http://t.co/zKVlrkyj— Netzaí (@Netzai_Sandoval) February 12, 2012
Referring to Calderon and former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera and ex head of state of Colombia, Andres Pastrana, Maduro said, “Nobody here in Venezuela likes for foreigners to interfere in our internal matters.” He also accused them of backing the opposition’s attempts to create chaos, destabilize the country with the ultimate objective of carrying out a coup.
A few days ago, the Mayor of Caracas, Jorge Rodriguez, also publicly criticized the potential visits of former right-wing Latin American presidents at a gathering organized by the Venezuelan opposition front, Unity Table (Mesa de Unidad, MUD) on Jan. 26 in Caracas.
During his presidency, Mexico’s Calderon militarized the war on drugs in the country, deploying 45,000 troops and federal security personnel across the country which prompted a violent backlash from the cartels leaving at least 120,000 people dead according to figures provided by non-governmental.
The Mexican navy guard the burning of tonnes of marijuana in Sinaloa state, part of Calderon’s militarization of the anti-drug war. (Photo: AFP)
In September 2011, the Calderon administration stopped updating its drug-related violence database, a decision that was criticized by watch groups for failing to adequality monitor violence within the country.
According to the Mexican Association of Private Security Companies (AMESP), the expansion of the 'war on drugs' under Calderon’s administration led to the security industry as a whole growing by around 10 percent per year.