Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The cartels send a bloody message to President Lopez Obrador

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We’ve told you before about the killings south of the border.   
Early this week a police convoy in Michoacan was ambushed by cartel members, with 13 officers killed. The attack is considered to be a message to President Lopez-Obrador:
The attack — the worst on Mexican law enforcement in years — comes at a time when violence attributed to drug cartels has spiked in recent months.
“No attack on the police will go unpunished, and this was a cowardly, devious attack because they laid an ambush in this area of the road,” Gov. Silvano Aureoles said.
Governor Aureoles is right, but is President Lopez-Obrador listening?    
I hope that he is, because the brutality of this attack presents a challenge to a president, who earlier vowed to end the “war” on criminal groups.  In other words, he is saying that the militarized approach has failed.
President Lopez Obrador has pledged to end the violence by reducing poverty and promoting job creation.  It sounds good in theory, but the streets are not safe and the merchants are being harassed by cartels threatening more bold acts of violence. 
Last but not least, journalists who report on the violence are a target, too.
So what happens now?
As we learned with the caravans, President Lopez-Obrador is a lot more pragmatic than his rhetoric suggests.  
First, he shut down the Guatemala border to stop people from walking to the U.S.  He did it because the Mexican public did not want the “caravans” in their cities and neighborhoods; and,
Second, don’t be surprised if the Mexican Army is brought back into the fight with the cartels.  In other words, poverty and unemployment is a problem, but they are not behind cartels killing police.
In the meantime, what I hear from my Mexican friends and business colleagues is that they are afraid to send their kids to school for fear of kidnapping or robbery.    
Yes, Mexicans are very angry and it’s not about President Trump.
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