A few days ago, thousands of Mexicans took to the streets to march against President Lopez-Obrador. My friends told me that the marchers called on the president to stop hating and dividing people. Nevertheless, he still enjoys high approval ratings six months into his six-year term, what we call “the honeymoon period” up here.
What Mexicans do agree on is the levels of violence ripping the country apart. Yesterday, Alfredo Corchado reminded us that Mexico is indeed a very violent place:
This country’s tenuous security situation is falling apart.
Reports from across Mexico paint a picture of a nation reeling back on its heels as murders and massacres flourish.
Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, just across the U.S. border, lead the nation and continent in homicides with more than 2,200 and 1,000 respectively in 2018.
The Cancun area, a popular destination for tourists, had more than 500 murders last year.
And the trend is not getting better.
Recent massacres span from Veracruz to Guadalajara and across Tamaulipas, where Reynosa is a critical crossing point for U.S.-Mexico trucking business.
In the first quarter of 2019, there were 8,493 murders, according to the Executive Secretariat of the Public Security National System, a 9.6% rise on the same period in 2018.
The violence is from north to south from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. It is everywhere and no one can hide from it, including American tourists who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a couple of gangs settle scores.
These numbers should persuade a few Democrats that the border is unsafe. What do you do if your neighbor’s cities on the border are leading the hemisphere in murder rates? Shouldn’t you admit that this is a real crisis?
Mexicans always point the finger at U.S. consumers of illegal drugs and say that we are sending the dollars that pay for these cartels. Yes, we do, but the collapse of the security system is more complicated than that.
So far, Mexicans are “patient” with the man they call AMLO. How much longer? I don’t know, but I hope that El Presidente is aware of just how much Mexicans hate their politicians.
As a Mexican friend told me: “La paciencia tiene limite,” sort of saying that there are limits to one’s patience.
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