"My government is absolutely determined to continue fighting against criminality without quarter until we put a stop to this common enemy and obtain the Mexico we want," Calderon said in a paid, two-page message in Mexican newspapers in June.
More recently, officials have countered the idea of favoritism by pointing to the killing July 29 of Coronel, a top figure in the Sinaloa conglomerate.
For now, says Guillermo Valdes, head of the secretive national intelligence agency, Mexicans will have to accept that increasing violence is inevitable.
"We have made progress in deploying forces and in slowing down the operational capacity of organized crime," he said in a rare public appearance this month. "But we have not achieved the objective of restoring normal living conditions in regions affected by organized crime."