Will Mexico's new president favor legalizing drugs?

Drug war expert Sylvia Longmire

With daily gun battles continuing south of the border, voters are looking to Mexico's newly elected president Enrique Pea-Nieto for change.

But many are wondering if legalizing drugs is an option for Mexico.

Action 4 News spoke to U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar about the legalization of drugs via Skype.

Cuellar was at Pea-Nieto TMs victory party in Mexico City.

The Laredo-based Congressman said Pea-Nieto and the PRI party are against legalizing drugs but they do plan to make changes.

He's bringing in a retired general who fought Pablo Escobar in Colombia and he used to run the national police there too, Cuellar said. He's all ready to move to Mexico to advise him and give him advice on how to set up the federal police."

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

She said Mexico already moved to decriminalize several types of drugs in small amounts.

That happened about three years ago, I believe, and nothing really resulted out of that, Longmire said. If anything, the local drug market exploded in some parts of the country."

However, Longmire said Pea-Nieto may have others trying to influence him on the issue of legalizing drugs.

He's going to come under a lot of pressure from other leaders in Central and South America, particularly in Guatemala, who are experiencing some very, very difficult and violent aspects of the drug war and they are very much towards legalization, Longmire said.

Mexico's former President Vicente Fox also recently came out in favor of legalizing drugs but Longmire said Pea-Nieto is very away that the United States is firmly against legalizing drugs.

Pea-Nieto is going to under a lot of pressure to go one way or the other but I don't think he'll lean to legalization very strongly any time soon, Longmire said.