Weeks after the high-profile kidnapping of four Americans brought the country’s security crisis to the attention of the world, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador maintained on Monday that Mexico is a safer country than the United States.
“Mexico is a safer country than the US. Traveling securely through Mexico is not problematic. During his morning press conference, he stated, “That’s something the US citizens also know, just like our fellow Mexicans that live in the US.
Early in March, as the kidnapped Americans were traveling through the Mexican border city of Matamoros, they were ambushed by armed men who were allegedly affiliated with the Gulf cartel. A Mexican bystander and two of the Americans perished in the incident.
Due to the possibility of cartel violence, the Texas Department of Public Safety advised residents on Friday to stay away from spring break travel to Mexico.
When asked about security in his country by a local reporter, López Obrador mentioned the number of American tourists and expats who had recently flocked to famous beach locations and Mexico City to take advantage of the country’s warmer climate and lower cost of living. Mexico receives billions in annual earnings from visitors from the US.
“According to US government notifications, only the states of Campeche and Yucatan are safe for travel. If that were the case, a great deal fewer Americans would be moving to Mexico City and the rest of the nation to reside. Many Americans have moved to reside in Mexico in recent years. So what’s going on? Why the suspicion?
The president of Mexico further asserted that “conservative US politicians are waging a campaign against Mexico because they don’t want this nation to keep growing for the benefit of the Mexican people.”
Mexico has some well-known tourist spots, but it also has its share of violent crime, including kidnapping and human trafficking, especially in border regions. Mexico has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, and the nation has been plagued by a disappearances epidemic, with more than 100,000 Mexicans and migrants still unaccounted for.
Public trust in Mexican government authorities has also been damaged by accusations of corruption and inaction; a government study last year accused Mexico’s military and police of being responsible for the infamous 2014 disappearance of 43 students.
Six of Mexico’s 32 states, including the state of Tamaulipas in the northeast where Matamoros is situated, have “do not travel” advisories in place according to the US State Department. In 17 states, it advises Americans to “exercise increased vigilance” and “reconsider travel” to seven Mexico states. Detailed travel advisories for Mexico are also available from Canada and the UK.
No one can give us commands, therefore
Six persons have been detained in connection with the tragic Matamoros kidnapping, and Mexico has sent hundreds of security personnel to the region in an effort to protect “the well-being of civilians,” according to the military ministry.
Yet, the incident has also led to ongoing hostilities between American authorities and the president of Mexico.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, where the victims of the Matamoros attack are from, announced last week that he intended to introduce legislation designating the cartels as foreign terrorist organizations and allowing the US military to conduct operations in Mexico to destroy drug labs, which are frequently controlled by such criminal organizations.
According to López Obrador, the idea “offends the people of Mexico” and shows “lack of respect for our independence.”
“We are neither a colony nor a protectorate of the United States. Mexico is a free, sovereign, and independent nation. At a press conference, López Obrador declared, “We don’t follow orders from anyone.