Protesters carried a Mexican flag stained with fake blood in the country’s capital — a symbol, they said, of President Felipe Calderon’s six-year term.

Just a few hours later, Mexican television broadcast video Wednesday night of the outgoing president brushing his hand across a pristine flag as triumphant music played in the background.

The images showed two drastically different interpretations of Calderon’s legacy: a fed-up public that has grown weary of a brutal drug war; and a president who maintains that his fight against organized crime was necessary and, by some measures, successful.

“I leave having accomplished my duty and responsibility to serve Mexico,” said Calderon, whose term ends this week. “I have worked to leave a stronger, healthier country, with a better justice system and a solid economy.”

via Outgoing Mexican president defends legacy in wake of drug war –