Monday, October 28, 2019

A major ‘dolor de cabeza’ for President Lopez-Obrador

Image result for lopez obrador cartoons
Over the last couple of days, I’ve chatted with some Mexican friends by phone and they all keep saying that recent events have turned into a major “dolor de cabeza” or headache for President Andres Lopez-Obrador and the nation.
First, there was the botched military operation that captured and then surrendered El Chapo’s son.  It was, to say the least, a major blow to the military and the political leadership.  
As a Mexican friend told me, who has the soldiers’ back?  Let’s just say that many Mexicans are asking the same question.  Fair or unfair, many Mexicans don’t think that President Lopez-Obrador does.
Second, a judge released 31 suspected cartel members.  According to a Reuters report:   
The suspects were nabbed by security forces in a central district of the capital on Tuesday after authorities seized two laboratories used to produce synthetic drugs, 50 kg (110 pounds) of chemical precursors, more than two tons of marijuana and 20 kg of cocaine, as well as an unspecified amount of money, rocket launchers and grenades.Lopez Obrador, speaking at his regular morning press conference, said the unexpected release of the criminal suspects would be investigated but cautioned against a rush to judgment.“Here the important thing is to see what the arguments were that were used to release these people,” said the leftist leader, who took office in December. “Let’s not rush. If someone acted improperly, illegally, if there was corruption, we will condemn it,” he said.With homicides on track to hit an all-time high this year and following the bungled arrest last week of a notorious drug lord’s son, Lopez Obrador’s approach to security has come under increasing scrutiny.
Has come under scrutiny?  To say the least!
According to what I hear in Mexico, the prisoners were released for lack of evidence or mistakes made by police when they were arrested.  Apparently, the police arrested en masse and a judge found that there was not enough evidence to hold them any longer.
As another Mexican cynically said:  “You mean that they arrested people shooting at the police but have no evidence to hold them!”
Another Mexican friend said:  “Quien compro al juez” or, Who bought the judge?
To be honest, no one has evidence that the judge is corrupt.  At the same time, Mexicans are really cynical these days.
In both instances, the Lopez-Obrador administration is trying to put a happy face on a very ugly situation.  I don’t think that he is succeeding.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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