What does Pea-Nieto's victory mean for Valley, drug war?

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar with Mexico's President-Elect Enrique Peña-Nieto and his wife Angelica Rivera // Courtesy Photo

Mexico TMs four-way race for president ended with Enrique Pea-Nieto as the winner and the PRI party back in power.

Many are wondering what the election results mean for the drug war and the Rio Grande Valley.

Action 4 News spoke with U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) via Skype about the elections.

Cuellar spent Sunday night at Pea-Nieto TMs victory party in Mexico City.

He believes that Mexico is in good hands and that Pea-Neito will be able to shake off the PRI party TMs image of corruption.

"I believe that Enrique Pea-Nieto is a new, younger generation of leader, Cuellar said. Last night, he specifically addressed all the critics and did say, ~My government will not negotiate with the drug cartel. TM

Border Economy

The Laredo-based lawmaker said billions of dollars of goods cross the U.S./Mexico border every day.

Cuellar said nations like Egypt, Israel and Pakistan receive the bulk of U.S. foreign aid.

He wants see more American funding for Mexico through more programs like the Merida Initiative, a bilateral agreement to fight drug trafficking.

Cuellar said Pea-Nieto has plans to reform Mexico TMs federal police force and open Mexico TMs national oil company PEMEX to foreign investment.

But Cuellar said not to expect change overnight.

"It TMs gonna take years just like in Colombia, Cuellar said. It took many, many years because you TMve got to train thousands and thousands of federal police officers.

Border Security

Action 4 News also spoke to author and drug cartel expert Sylvia Longmire via Skype.

She said that throwing money at Mexico's problems is not necessarily the answer.

"At what point do we stop funding, Longmire asked. At what point do we say okay this is a success? There needs to be a lot of improvements in Merida before they starting making any changes.

Longmire said she believes that Pea-Nieto will use a strong federal police presence along the border and less military troops.

The drug war analyst agrees with Cuellar that the PRI will not be able did get away with the corrupt practices of the past.

There's no going back in time, Longmire said. I don't think there's any going back to the old ways. The PRI is in the spotlight. Pea-Nieto is under a lot of scrutiny and the in the spotlight to make sure that he doesn't got back to the old way.