July 5, 2009 / 3:14 PM / 8 years ago

FACTBOX: Mexico's Calderon faces mid-term setback

(Reuters) - Following are five facts about Mexican President Felipe Calderon, 46, whose conservative party is set to be knocked into second place in Congress in mid-term elections on Sunday as he battles with a crippling economic downturn and rampant drug gang violence.

* A dour but determined former lawyer, Calderon has been in power for the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, since late 2006 after narrowly winning an election over left-wing firebrand Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who set up protest camps in the capital for weeks to challenge the result.

* Calderon has launched an army-led war on drug gangs and made curbing cartel violence the centerpiece of his presidency. His crackdown, using thousands of troops, has put a string of traffickers behind bars but cartel turf wars still kill hundreds of people each month.

* The Mexican president was the first foreign leader that Barack Obama met after winning the U.S. presidential election last year. They discussed border security, immigration, the NAFTA trade pact and Mexico’s drug war at talks in Washington in January.

* Calderon has pleased foreign investors by pushing tentative energy, tax, pension, justice and security reforms through Congress, despite the PAN’s lack of a majority in the lower house. But the proposals were often watered down by the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

* A former energy minister, Calderon had hoped to overhaul the state-run energy sector to open the door to some foreign investment, possibly through strategic alliances with state oil monopoly Pemex, to reverse declining oil output. But few see such a reform possible in his second half-term.

Compiled by Catherine Bremer in Mexico City, Editing by Sandra Maler

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