Mexico’s president is saying the U.S. can work alongside local authorities in investigating the murder of an American family. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said it’s painful that children died in the attack, but added he does not want the country to go to war with cartels.
“We’re moving forward with the new strategy,” stated President López Obrador. “War is irrational — that is not an option in our case.”
Nine-people were killed in the attack, which is suspected to have been carried out by cartel forces. The victims belonged to members of breakaway Mormon communities that settled in Mexico decades ago.
The Mexican president said the war on drugs has only caused more violence.
Thus far, one suspect has been arrested in connection with the deaths. Mexico has been using its military to combat drug cartels since 2006, but drug violence has not been reduced.
These remarks came after the recent announcement of breaches in the U.S. Mexico border, which were allegedly conducted by drug smugglers.
The Mexico drug war is nothing new.
Mexican authorities have been waging a war against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) for more than a decade, but with limited success. Thousands of Mexicans, including politicians, students, and journalists, continue to die in the conflict every year.
The country has seen over three hundred thousand homicides since anti-drug campaigns began in 2006. In 2018, homicides, many linked to drug cartels, hit a new high of almost thirty-six thousand. This trend continued in 2019, with about ninety murders daily.
Successive U.S. administrations have partnered closely with Mexico in this fight, providing billions of dollars for Mexico to modernize its security forces, reform its judicial system, and make other investments.
Washington has also sought to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the United States by bolstering security on its southern border, although debate has flared over the utility of expanding the physical barrier there.