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50 People Who Matter 2010 | 17. Felipe Calderon

Mexican brave.

Mexico's president runs a country in the grip of a pseudo civil war.

In 2006, cracking down on the drug cartels was a way to secure support, but the bloody campaign has left 28,000 dead. In addition, Mexico's border with the US is now patrolled by over 20,000 guards to tackle the huge increase in attempts at illegal immigration.

Calderón faces a stark choice: be tough on drugs and risk public security, or soften the approach, consider legalising drugs and take the consequences.

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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter