Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) recently revealed that drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán held the power of a president up until his capture.
The Independent reported that AMLO praised his administration’s efforts to expose public officials who were connected to El Chapo’s notorious Sinaloa cartel.
“There was a time when Guzman Loera was as powerful, or had the influence, that the president had at that time,” AMLO told an audience in the southern city of Palenque. “That made it hard to punish those who had committed crimes. That is now history.”
These comments came a month after the arrest of Genaro Garcia Luna, a former Mexican official in charge of public security matters, who was charged in the United States with receiving millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel. Garcia Luna was politically active when El Chapo was the head of the Sinaloa cartel.
AMLO’s administration has not investigated former President Felipe Calderon, who was also leader when Garcia Luna was on the Sinaloa cartel payroll. Calderon was accused of accepting a $100 million bribe from the drug lord himself during the 2019 US trial of El Chapo.
AMLO’s “abrazos no balazos” – hugs not bullets – strategy to fighting cartels has yielded dismal results so far into his presidency.
This was most apparent when the Mexican government failed to capture El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzmán. After being arrested, hundreds of cartel gunmen freed Ovidio Guzmán in the Mexican city of Culiacan, while government forces could do nothing to stop these gunmen.
The Mexican president admitted that his government still has work to do in matters of public security. However, he is proud of his anti-corruption efforts.
“We are purifying public life so there is moral authority,” he declared.
Last year, Guzmán received a life sentence in prison without parole and then transferred to a high max-security in Colorado after receiving a conviction in a US court for smuggling large amounts of drugs to the United States during his multiple decades of drug trafficking.
The violence taking place in Mexico has reached almost warlike proportions.
Taking this context into account, America must desperately address its border wall situation and get its immigration house in order.
Having a porous border will transport Mexico’s political dysfunction to our towns and cities.
This is one crisis that can be avoided through rational border security policies.
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