Mexico's cartels did not get AMLO's 'hugs, not bullets' memo
A couple of years ago, President López-Obrador said something about promoting hugs rather than bullets as his plan for halting Mexico's notorious cartels.
It went like this:
Prior to becoming president, AMLO promised "hugs, not bullets," a demilitarization of security, an end to high value targeting and a focus on social spending and anti-corruption to reduce the root causes of violence.
It was "woke mexicano" and did not work any better than "woke americano." Mexico recently surpassed the 100,000-deaths milestone in its war with cartels, Jorge Ramos of Univision wrote. Not even Ramos, a lefty, thinks the "hugs not bullets" strategy is working.
A couple of days ago, the Mexican cartels sent a message about Cancun. This is from The New York Post:
The hand-printed signs, in neat block letters, appeared in the Tulum marketplace the morning after two tourists were shot dead and three others wounded at a roadside eatery in the bohemian Mexican resort town.
"Attention merchants of Tulum ... this was a warning," said the sign, which went on to threaten "managers and owners" of bars and restaurants on the "Mini Quinta" tourist zone. That's where the foreigners, visiting the Malquerida Bar last month, had the bad luck of getting caught in cartel crossfire.
The signs were photographed by a local citizens' advocacy group, which posted them to social media. The message threatened death to merchants who refuse to fork over bribes to the drug trafficking gangs and was signed by Los Pelones — "the bald ones."
It caught the Mexican government's attention because they sent the armed forces to secure the area.
What we are seeing, according to a friend in Mexico, is several very interesting developments.
First, the criminal elements in Mexico have been emboldened by President Biden's border policy. They are doing lots of business bringing people to the border and charging them a nice fee. Furthermore, who knows what deal they are making with these people once they get here? In other words, what future payments, cash or "services," are due once they settle into the U.S.?
Second, we are watching a battle for territory among the cartels. This is a gang fight not too different from what we see in Chicago every weekend.
Last, but not least, the Mexican government knows that violence involving tourists is bad news for a country desperately needing cash after the pandemic. So it will use whatever force is necessary to keep the gangs out of Cancun. My fear is that the cartels have simply grown to a point where they can't be stopped by Mexican authorities.
Should you go to Cancun? Be very careful.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).
Image: Twitter screen shot.
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