Will AMLO tell Mexicans to stay home and not vote in 2024?
Last week, President Andrés López-Obrador was a bit irate, or "molesto," as they say in Mexico. He reacted to Senator Lindsey Graham's call to name the cartels as terrorist organizations. AMLO threatened to tell Mexican Americans to punish the GOP for saying stuff like that. How dare you, gringo?
Well, let's hear what AMLO is saying this week, because a Democrat is now calling out his "hugs rather than bullets" approach to national security. This is from Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey via Pulse News Mexico:
Menendez's criticism comes on the heels of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham presenting an initiative to add Mexican drug cartels on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, and Republican lawmakers Dan Crenshaw and Michael Waltz proposing a bill to give U.S. President Joe Biden the authority to use the U.S. Army against Mexican drug cartels.
López Obrador called these proposals "propaganda" and "aggression by the Republicans against Mexico." However, Menéndez adding his voice to the growing international clamor for Mexico to take security, drug trafficking and democracy seriously makes it complicated for AMLO to pin the blame on mere "Republican aggression."
"Mexico has a responsibility, first and foremost, to its own citizens to establish safety and security within its own territory — and to those who visit its own country as well," Menéndez said on Sunday, in an interview with American news-based television channel MSNBC.
"And so we need to up dramatically with Mexico. It can't be all about economics, it has to be about safety and security as well. And I am afraid that we are headed in the wrong direction in Mexico on that, and on democracy questions as well. So this is a present danger that we have to deal with, and we have to engage the Mexicans in a way that says, 'You've got to do a lot more in your security.' We can help them — we have intelligence, we have other information we can share. But we need them to enforce security in their own country."
Okay — so Mexico is headed in the wrong direction? To be fair, Senator Menendez does not want to name the cartels as terrorist organizations. He did not specify how Mexico can do more for its security. I thought we were already sending Mexico weapons and more under the Merida Plan from 2007. Maybe we need to upgrade the weapons or try something else.
Senator Menendez's statement puts AMLO in a tough place. He is getting criticism from both sides of the Senate chamber. Is he going to call on Mexicans up here to stay home and not vote for either party? The only difference between Senator Graham and Senator Menendez is that the former wants to name the cartels as a terrorist organization. Both are raising doubts about Mexico's ability to defend itself and being critical of AMLO's approach.
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Image: Erik (HASH) Hersman.