There’s No Doubt Where AMLO’s Loyalties Lie
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
In yet another shining example of where the Mexican president’s fidelity really lies, in his morning press conference (read: bully pulpit) on Monday, April 17, and again, on Tuesday, April 18, Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) made a point of calling the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) “abusive, prepotent and unlawful” for using agents to infiltrate the Sinaloa Cartel.
Those infiltrations were responsible for the issuing of arrest warrants for 28 alleged members of the cartel, broadly considered the most violent and powerful in Mexico.
According to AMLO, the DEA had no right to be operating on Mexican soil, but the simple fact of the matter is that, given López Obrador’s unwillingness to control the Sinaloa Cartel, which is the main source of illegal fentanyl and other synthetic opioids entering the United States, the Joe Biden administration decided to act on its own to get the job done.
Over the past four years, López Obrador has had countless opportunities to curtail the cartel and other organized crime groups that now control more than 20 percent of Mexico’s national territory, but instead he has ordered the release of its chief capo, Ovidio Guzmán López, son and inheritor of the world-famous Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, after he was already in custody in October 2019, fought stringently against Guzmán López’s extradition after he was finally rearrested in January of this year, and even went so far as to literally kiss the hand of El Chapo’s mother and defend her as “a respectable lady” on the very same day that he refused to talk to the family members of some of the country’s 107,000 disappeared persons.
It is understandable that the DEA did not wish to disclose to López Obrador that it had agents entrenched in the cartel for fear that their safety would be endangered.
AMLO’s “hugs not bullets” rhetoric is reserved for the nation’s criminals, but his nonstop assaults on political critics, journalists and human rights activists have incited physical violence against these law-abiding members of Mexican society, and his unwarranted verbal attacks on the governments of other (non-leftist) nations (including, but not limited to, the United States, Spain, Panama and Peru) has sparked repeated diplomatic altercations.
The Joe Biden administration had repeatedly appealed to AMLO to work with it to curb cross-border drug trafficking, which negatively affects the populations of both the United States and Mexico.
But López Obrador would hear none of it, preferring to use the United States as his whipping boy, biting the hand that feeds his people and maintains the lion’s share of his economy through both trade (combined commercial interchange between Mexico and the United States amounted to $725.7 billion in 2022) and remittances (which represented $58.4 billion in revenues for Mexico last year), while kowtowing to his leftist buddy governments (including refusing to condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine) and, of course, the cartels, which, at least according to some credible accounts, financed his presidential campaign in 2018 and are buoying his questionable social programs.
All evidence points to AMLO being snugly in the pockets of the Sinaloa Cartel, but what he seems to be forgetting is that he now has less than two years left in office, which means that he will soon be of spare use to the drug lords.
Violence is surging in Mexico, and AMLO is doing little or nothing to stop it, save offering grandiose speeches about how the country’s security and future are “well in hand” as he singlehandedly strives to dismantle and debilitate the nation’s crucial independent institutions, from the National Electoral Institute (IFE) to the National Institute for Transparency Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI) to the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN), all with the objective of concentrating power in his office.
And now he is attacking the United States for daring to try to do the job that he was elected to do, that is, to instill law and order in Mexico and provide security for all his constituents, not just the criminals.