Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) sparked controversy this week when he said that areas controlled by a cartel have fewer murders. Critics claimed the statement was another example of the national leader’s soft approach toward organized crime.
This week, Lopez Obrador claimed that there were regions where one “group” was in control and therefore had fewer violent clashes.
“And that’s why you don’t have murders,” AMLO said. “It’s interesting … for example Sinaloa. It is not among the states with more homicides.”
The politician said that 75 percent of the murders are linked to rival cartels fighting for turf. Therefore, Sinaloa and Durango are not listed as the most violent, yet Michoacan is split by rival factions and carries a greater body count.
The president pointed to places like Mexico State, where smaller organizations target average citizens for extortion and larger cartels focus on drugs.
“It is the dominance of one group that does not have competition and this leads to there being no confrontations,” Lopez Obrador said.
One issue not addressed by the politician is that most of the violence in Mexico can be traced to a proxy turf war between organizations aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel against Cartel Jalisco New Generation.
The comments by AMLO come at a time when the politician has been harshly criticized for his soft approach to fighting cartels and apparent favoritism for Sinaloa.
In 2019, Lopez Obrador ordered the release of Ovidio Guzman, the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. AMLO claimed that he did it to avoid bloodshed.
In March 2020, AMLO met with the mother of El Chapo during one of his visits to rural Sinaloa.
Last month, Lopez Obrador defended cartel blockades in Sinaloa after gunmen questioned journalists that were covering a presidential visit. The politician claimed the blockade was a group of locals protecting their towns from gunmen.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].
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