Mexican President Felipe Calderon says today's battles against drug cartels are similar to the country's fight against the French invasion nearly 150 years ago.
Calderon spoke Thursday on the Cinco de Mayo holiday, which is the anniversary of Mexico's victory over a French army on May 5, 1862.
Calderon told people attending this year's re-enactment of the battle near the central city of Puebla that just as then, Mexicans today face powerful enemies.
He said those enemies are the drug cartels and called on Mexicans to defend their country as they did in 1862.
France invaded to install Emperor Maximilian, who was executed by Mexican forces in 1867.