U.S.-Mexico Drug War: Will Elections Change the Battlefield?

Analysts say the election may reduce violence in the short-term as newly elected leaders settle into their roles. But in the long term, the disagreements between the PRI and Calderon may make the president's fight against drug cartels more difficult. It also raises the question of whether Calderon's strategy to fight drug trafficking is, in fact, working.

"I don't see the elections in Mexico are going to resolve anything," said Tony Payan, an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at El Paso. "What's being played out in Mexico is the long-term struggle. ... What Mexico is going through is something much deeper than a phenomenon that can be resolved with law enforcement and cooperation."

Meanwhile, the tension on the Mexican side of the border has raised a ruckus in some border states, with officials calling for more security because of the "spillover" effect.

Just last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote a letter to President Obama calling for "immediate and effective action" on the border after several bullets struck El Paso city hall last Tuesday. The bullets were thought to be a result of gang shooting, possibly even from across the border, although that wasn't verified.

Overall, however, the growing violence in Mexico hasn't yet translated to an uptick in crime on the U.S. side, thanks mainly in part to more stringent law enforcement policies, analysts said.

Some U.S. border cities like El Paso, Texas, and San Diego are the safest in the country. Crimes in many cities in Arizona -- where a more stringent illegal immigration law is set to take effect in August -- has declined.

"I would say that, as far as the U.S.-Mexican border [is concerned], I've seen a tremendous change. It's probably more secure now than in the past," said David Bejararno, police chief of the city of Chula Vista, California. "Despite the successes, we're all fully aware that we continue to see human smuggling and drug smuggling occurring."

Analysts say the government of Mexico needs a more cohesive strategy to fight organized crime in the border states, not just by deploying law enforcement but also working to improve the economic situation of these border towns. More cooperative efforts between U.S. and Mexico states also need to take place to complement efforts on the federal level, analysts say.

ABC News' Julie Percha contributed to this report.

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