Mexican candidate: government erred in not going after arms

Jose Antonio Meade gestures to supporters during an event naming him the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. On Sunday, Mexico's three major political parties are nominating their presidential candidates for the July 1 election. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Mexican ruling-party candidate rules out split with president

MEXICO CITY — Ruling-party presidential candidate Jose Antonio Meade says the government made a mistake by focusing more on seizing drugs headed for the United States than on weapons heading into Mexico.

Meade said Wednesday if he wins Mexico's July 1 elections, he would focus more on inspecting vehicles coming into Mexico and better training police.

He acknowledged that Mexicans are angry about rising violence rates and said the government has been almost completely unable to seize the assets of drug traffickers.

But though he is running second or even third in the polls, Meade said he has no intention of distancing himself even slightly from outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto, in whose Cabinet he served. Low approval ratings for Pena Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party may be dragging Meade down.

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