LO needs Trump 'mucho mucho'
As expected, the show was rather diplomatic and cordial. It usually is when heads of state visit the White House.
My guess is that the "face to face" conversation was more blunt and frank. In other words, President Andrés López-Obrador of Mexico really needs a strong U.S. economic recovery and lots of help on the border.
Let's start with Topic #1 in Mexico — i.e., "el crimen" or the crime statistics.
No matter what source you rely on, crime in Mexico is out of control:
A record high of nearly 35,000 people were murdered in Mexico in 2019, according to official data, as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador struggled to rein in violent crime in his first year in office.
A report released by the Secretariat of Public Security on Monday showed there were a total 34,582 murders last year, a 2.5 percent increase from 2018, when 33,743 victims were recorded.
It was the highest rate since 1997, the first year for which there is an official record.
The 2019 rate equals an average of 95 murders per day in Mexico, a country that has been plagued with violence since 2006, when the government deployed the military to wage the so-called war on drugs.
Crime or "inseguridad" is what everybody in Mexico is talking about. It can impact anyone, as we saw recently with the assassination attempt on Mexico's chief of police.
As a Mexican friend told me on the phone, the police chief has more security than Trump, and they almost got him!
The Mexico economy has stopped growing. In fact, it could fall 9% in 2020. Also, the economic decline began before the coronavirus.
Last but not least, Mexico is getting hit hard by COVID. How bad has Mexico been hit? This is from Pulse News:
Given the mounting contagion of coronavirus in Monterrey, Nuevo León Health Secretary Manuel de la O Cavazos announced on Tuesday, July 7, that the city is running out of space to store the dead.
I should add that Monterrey is the third largest city in the country and an industrial center.
So President López-Obrador needs "el amigo" Trump a lot. He needs help on the border to stop all of those guns and cash going south. He needs foreign investment to rebuild his economy.
On the other hand, President Trump has every incentive to help ailing Mexico.
We may be seeing the start of the most realistic U.S.-Mexico relationship in years.
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