updated 11/30/2008 5:31:31 PM ET 2008-11-30T22:31:31

President Felipe Calderon pledged Sunday to clean up corruption within his administration and vowed his government would never negotiate with drug lords.

Promising to continue the battle against organized crime, no matter how violent it gets, Calderon said he would push President-elect Barack Obama to do his part north of the U.S.-Mexican border. Calderon has long said the U.S. must do more to fight drug use and stop the illegal flow of weapons south from the U.S. Obama has said he will do both.

"Without rule of law, Mexico's security is always in danger," Calderon told a breakfast meeting that marked his first two years in office.

Calderon's sweeping crackdown on powerful drug cartels has in recent weeks been shaken by a nationwide corruption scandal.

Police fail background, security checks
The government revealed that top officials within the army, federal Attorney General's office, and federal police had been allegedly bought off by Mexico's most powerful drug gang, the Sinaloa cartel. On Thursday, officials said that almost half of Mexican police officers examined this year had failed background and security checks, a figure that rises to nearly 9 of 10 cops in the violent border state of Baja California, home to Tijuana.

But Calderon insisted he won't back down, promising to weed out corruption within his administration, and said officials are working to create a "new generation of police."

"To get rid of organized crime, we must first clean up our own house," he said.

Since taking office on Dec. 1, 2006, Calderon has sent more than 20,000 soldiers to battle drug trafficking across Mexico, helping to seize of 70 tons of cocaine and 3,708 tons of marijuana, he said.

Bloody terror campaign
Cartels have responded with a bloody terror campaign, dumping beheaded bodies on public streets and tossing grenades into a crowd of Independence Day revelers in September. More than 4,000 people have died so far this year in drug-related violence.

Addressing the global financial crisis, Calderon said Mexico would boost spending on infrastructure and tourism programs to battle a slowing economy and encourage investment.

He said the government would also ease access to credit for homeowners, in an effort to encourage the country's housing boom. The sector includes very few subprime mortgages, and hasn't suffered the same scale of defaults or foreclosures seen in the U.S.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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