“This isn’t just about drugs and about illegal immigrants,” he said. “This is about, potentially, a takeover of a government by individuals who are corrupt.”
This isn't entirely new, since Hillary Clinton had made the insurgency comparison last year.
Setting aside the obvious problem of sending U.S. troops, I agree with the Mexican government that it is an inaccurate way of characterizing the conflict. An insurgency is an illegal armed group seeking to overthrow a government. That is not happening in Mexico because the drug trafficking organizations do not want to overthrow the government, but rather simply to absorb themselves into it. Much of that effort has nothing to do with armed insurrection, and instead involves well placed bribery, recruitment of political candidates and other such strategies. You can't fight those with troops, either U.S. or Mexican.
Further, when there are attacks, they are aimed at forcing the government to leave them alone and not to overthrow it. The Center for International Policy's Just the Facts correctly made this point last year:
This is a concern, because some poor policy choices can result from viewing criminal gangs and narcotrafficking syndicates – whose only truly political goal is to keep government from disrupting their business – as “insurgents” or revolutionaries.
It's not just a matter of semantics. If you call this an insurgency, then you click into place a variety of counterinsurgency measures that in the Mexican case will not work.