Thursday, October 24, 2019

Narco Suspicions Against AMLO

In a low voice, Mexico has been talking, for a long time, about the peculiar relationship of the Government of President López Obrador with the drug cartels, particularly with the one headed by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán (now imprisoned for life and convicted in the United States), the Sinaloa Cartel. The comments rose in tone after the serious incidents of last Thursday, when the city of Culiacán was held by the cartel for several hours and subtracted authority of the Mexican State.

Culiacán is not just any city: it is the capital of the state of Sinaloa and has about 900,000 inhabitants (a population similar to the total of Cyprus, a third more than the total of Luxembourg, almost three times that of Iceland, or similar to cities like San Francisco or Indianapolis in the United States), with a state GDP per capita of 148,680 pesos per year, equivalent to $7,780 US dollars (data from INEGI 2017), lower than the Mexican average but higher than that of India, for example. It is therefore not a city without importance, isolated or marginal.

The city of Culiacán, Sinaloa was taken hostage by the Sinaloa Cartel, last Thursday, October 17, in order to achieve the release of the son of "El Chapo", Ovidio Guzman, apparently arrested by the Mexican Government in an operation at his girlfriend's house to complete an extradition request from the United States Government. 

The aforementioned operation was conducted by the new National Guard, with only 30 elements, without an arrest warrant or strategy, without communication or request for support with the Army or local authorities. 
In response, it only took the cartel 15 minutes to change to a small but fearfully armed army, surround the National Guard, control the city through blockades and threaten the housing unit where the families of soldiers from the military headquarters in the region live. In the end, after a few hours, López Obrador's government had to hand over Ovidio Guzmán to them, to restore order in the city and cease the threats of the cartel.

In this manner, the Cartel demonstrated to his own and strangers that it can easily destabilize the Mexican Government, paralyze and kidnap any city in the country, attack the Army with impunity in their own homes and subject the population at will through terror and blackmail. In view of the ease and its results, it would not be uncommon to see other similar cases soon.
In his apology, López Obrador argues that by freeing the son of the boss he saved thousands of lives. Maybe. But it should not be forgotten that he himself and his Government were who first put them in grave danger, with an insufficient, chaotic and improvised operation. So thanking or cheering for your decision is a nonsense: it means rewarding incapable planning and failed execution of the operation, parts of a public safety strategy that simply does not work. It is to excuse irresponsibility. It is to agree with a ridiculous rule of law. 

It is as the old Mexican adage goes: to want to cover the sun with a finger, to defend a government that to those who were in the middle of the shooting or hiding and terrified in their homes or jobs, simply does not help them. It is fooling ourselves.
                                          Governor of Sinaloa with Pres Lopez Obrador
The Government of López Obrador simply does not work, public institutions have been inoperative and overwhelmed.

This, in principle, by the inability of a government that does not distinguish between the use of force to repress and its use to enforce the rights of life, property and freedom of its fellow citizens. López Obrador does not seem to understand that not every use of government force is repression. In this sense, avoiding deaths happens precisely by preserving the individual rights of citizens. Otherwise, given the manifest incapacity, allow citizens to arm themselves and defend themselves, on their own. 

On the sidelines, however, it is urgent in Mexico to legislate for the free acquisition and carrying of firearms.

What happened in Culiacán would be a great negligence and incapacity of López Obrador and his government. But it could also mean something else, different, intentional. Therefore, we must ask ourselves the question that many today can only think: Was López Obrador financed by the Cartel at some point in his long political career, which would force him to preferential treatment at least towards that cartel? Maybe. The opacity of his personal income in the last 14 years, the suspicion about the resources of his different campaigns, the endless scandals about his financing (Bejarano, Mandoki, contracts in the government of Marcelo Ebrard, the «voluntary cooperations» to the PRD and MORENA of government employees or Eva Cadena) speak at least of an unscrupulous handling in financial matters.

A preferential treatment to the Sinaloa cartel can be traced at least from the management of immigration privileges for the mother of "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, Consuelo Loera, so that she could visit her son in the United States, and López Obrador's condolences for the conviction of the narco criminal: "Nobody deserves something like that," López Obrador said, untouched by the fate of the multi assassin. Or that the "lopezobradorista" Security Secretary himself possesses properties that once belonged to drug traffickers, or that in other posts he has employed characters linked to the cartels or that one of his children has shared a school classroom with Ovidio Guzmán himself. ( The Security Secretary, ie)

Like cherry on the cake, there was the press conference of the lawyers of the Guzmán Loera family, thanking President López Obrador for having released Ovidio. We saw criminals thanking a president publicly in a media show  for not  arresting a known criminal with an extradition warrant ? On top of all that they invited him to their operations center, Badiraguato, to celebrate it and inaugurate a university for which the Guzmán family will fund!

All this throws a disturbing suspicion, which transcends the possible inability of the government: the operation to detain Ovidio Guzman was planned and deliberately executed to fail. Thus, the president sought to look good with the cartel, externally earning the animosity of the United States Government. He simply tried to look good with God and the Devil.

In the end, whether it was an operation "planned" for incompetence or ill-intentioned, the serious thing is the message it sends to the other drug cartels (some with much greater fire capacity than that of Sinaloa) and other criminal groups: anything goes against an accomplice kneeling government. So what happened last Thursday, will happen again, sooner or later, and perhaps more seriously, to everyone's misfortune.

Sol Prendido for Borderland Beat from: Lapolaka