López Obrador says that Mexico is safer than the United States | news today
Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City (Mexico).
Photo: EFE – Isaac Esquivel
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, assured this Monday that his country is “safer” than the United States, despite the recent kidnapping of four citizens of that country, two of whom died in captivity.
“Mexico is safer than the United States and there is no problem to travel through Mexico safely,” López Obrador said during his usual press conference.
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The leftist president made the comparison when questioned about warnings from Washington for Americans to avoid traveling or exercise extreme caution in 30 of the 32 Mexican states.
“Why this paranoia?” Launched the president, who took the opportunity to once again reject the idea of US congressmen that the Army of their country fight drug traffickers wherever they are.
“It is a campaign against Mexico by the conservative politicians of the United States,” said the president, who last Friday branded those legislators as “wimps” and accused them of engaging in “politicking” in the face of the 2024 US presidential elections. .
López Obrador received a group of US congressmen and the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, on Monday to explain his efforts against trafficking in fentanyl – a highly lethal opiate – and address bilateral trade disputes.
The group of eight legislators, led by Missouri Republican Congressman Jason Smith, was made up of five other representatives of that party and two Democrats, the presidency said in a statement.
“We are partners (…) forever. Sometimes there are concerns, disagreements, but we know that we are united,” Salazar told reporters after the meeting.
At the meeting, López Obrador explained the “work that Mexico has been doing, especially in terms of fentanyl,” said Roberto Velasco, representative of the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
The Secretary of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro, and the Undersecretary of Finance, Gabriel Yorio, also participated in the meeting where the effort “to maintain and expand” bilateral trade was highlighted, added the presidency.
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– Information campaign –
On March 3, four Americans were kidnapped in the border city of Matamoros (northeast state of Tamaulipas) by suspected drug traffickers.
Two of the hostages died at the hands of their captors, apparently from gunshot wounds sustained while trying to escape shortly after the abduction, while another sustained a leg wound. The four have already been repatriated.
According to Mexican authorities, the victims crossed into Matamoros because one of them was planning to have cosmetic surgery.
As a result of the incident, Washington recalled the validity of a travel alert to Tamaulipas, whose roads have been the scene of multiple crimes in recent years.
If it were true that it is not safe to travel to Mexico, “so many Americans would not be coming to live” in Mexico, said the president, reporting an increase in the arrival of tourists to destinations such as Cancun.
This Monday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard traveled to the United States to “report” on how Mexico addresses the problem of insecurity, particularly the fight against fentanyl, a synthetic drug 50 times more powerful than heroin, to which dozens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States.
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The campaign will have the Mexican consuls as broadcasters. After the kidnapping in Matamoros, Republican legislators proposed that the United States use the Army to fight drug traffickers even in Mexican territory.
Some congressmen from the same party also propose designating the Mexican cartels as “terrorists”, thus opening the door to direct action by the United States outside its borders. The DEA anti-drug agency has urged the Mexican government to “do more” against the fentanyl trade.
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