Mexicans Are Hoping for a President Who Will Fight Crime


Photo: Army University Press


Let’s get this out of the way quickly: The next president of Mexico is going to be a woman. Well, there’s a 99-percent chance of that, unless something happens.

So we applaud the progress that women have made in business and politics South of the Border. Honestly, no one would have believed this 20 years ago.

The two main candidates are Senator Xochitl Gálvez, a huge critic of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), and Claudia Sheinbaum, former mayor of Mexico City and supporter of the incumbent leftist government.

It’s early, but most of the campaign so far has been about the incumbent president. Xochitl hates him and Claudia loves him. My guess is that we will hear some more precise governing details as the campaign gets going after the first of the year.

And now we come meet reality.

The main problem facing Mexico is insecurity, and that’s what everyone is talking about.

Just ask any Mexican about what concerns him or her the most, and the word you will hear is “inseguridad.” Other issues matter, but every conversation starts with “inseguridad.”

According to InsightCrime, the numbers are not pretty:

Although there was a slight drop in homicides in 2022, the total number of murder victims in Mexico topped 30,000 for the fifth consecutive year.,” the report reads.

“Last year, Mexican authorities recorded at least 30,968 homicide victims, or 85 per day, according to government data, while 947 femicides were also reported. This figure is tallied separately.”

The report goes on to say that “combined, the total number of murders in Mexico in 2022 was at 31,915, giving the country a homicide rate of 25.2 per 100,000 residents, a slight drop from 2021’s rate.”

“Almost 50 percent of these killings were concentrated in the same six states as 2021: Guanajuato, which saw the most murders of any state with 3,260, Baja California, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Michoacán and the State of Mexico,” it says. 

“The border states of Baja California and Chihuahua are long-standing areas of violence in Mexico, as organized crime groups fight continually for control of drug-trafficking routes into the United States. Meanwhile, Jalisco is located north of Michoacán and Colima, whose ports — Lázaro Cárdenas and Manzanillo — are arrival points for precursor chemicals from Asia that are needed to produce synthetic drugs.”

So the crime problem is real, as almost any Mexican will tell you.

This is going to be the biggest challenge for the next president, whoever they may be.

Organized crime groups in Mexico now have about 175,000 members – making them the fifth-biggest employer in the country, according to new research published in the journal Science.

Mexico has suffered a brutal decade of homicides, missing persons and incarcerations, as well as constant confrontations between rival factions.

The next president of the country will have to convince Mexicans that “la presidenta” will go after criminal elements.

So far, neither lady has been very specific about how they will go about this, but they have time to present their plan.

And the people of Mexico will be listening.

One comment

  • It seems obvious that Morena and AMLO have accepted the cartels, and vice versa. I can’t imagine that Sheinbaum wants to see her family murdered any more than any other politician.

    They’re too big to stop now. And anytime AMLO threw the Army at them, the cartels corrupted the Army. The National Guard? Same.

    There’s no solution short of all-out war.

    When Trump was president, he offered to AMLO, “Just give us the names and locations, we’ll hit them all.” Obviously AMLO refused, no president wants to be seen as that weak or dependent on the US, let alone one of it’s biggest critics.

    Nonetheless, accepting the full support and strings of the US might be the only way out. Maybe the US can do a lend-lease program for the drones, satellites etc. necessary to strike the cartels. Or the US can do all the remote clandestine work and the President of Mexico can take the credit, saying it was 100% Mexican forces who carried out the duties.

    Not that drone strikes would solve the problem (let alone be constitutional) but they couldn’t hurt. If you cut off a head, more grow back, but if you cut off 10,000 that snake is gonna have serious difficulty. Catching one cartel head a year isn’t gonna cut it when there’s hundreds.

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