Mexico’s Lopez-Obrador is failing

The summit is over, and it’s time to review AMLO’s “hugs not bullets” policy. It’s failing big time.  

This is the story:

According to a report from Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) leaked to the public by Guacamaya hacktivists, organized crime groups and cartels operating within Mexico have been directly responsible for 64,910 deaths across the country since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) assumed the presidency in 2018, the highest number of organized crime-related deaths seen in Mexico since it began keeping track of cartel killings in 2007.

Someone did not get the “hugs” memo because the bullets keep flying! The real problem is that Presidente AMLO cannot stop the violence.  It’s out of his control because of Mexico’s fragile rule of law.  In other words, AMLO has to know that the criminal elements run the streets and will get their way.  This is why he loves to talk about the change of presidents in Peru or talk generalities with his amigos Biden and Trudeau.

It’s Chicago times one hundred!  It’s what everybody is talking about in Mexico.  

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When is ‘Chapito’ going north?


Down in Mexico, they call them “Los Chapitos,” or El Chapo’s two sons active in the business. As you know, one of “Los Chapitos” was arrested last week in one bloody operation: Shootouts, burned-out cars, and closed airports: Los Chapitos terrorize Culiacán after Ovidio Guzmán arrest!   

Where is Ovidio Guzmán-López or El Chapo’s son arrested last week?  He is in jail and the U.S. wants him north of the border. However, his trip north has been delayed just a bit.  See the story over at Pulse News Mexico:    

The head of Mexico’s Sixth District Court for Appeals in Criminal Matters granted a provisional suspension on Monday, Jan. 9, of the possible extradition to the United States of alleged drug trafficker Ovidio Guzmán López, son of notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Judge Juan Mateo Brieba de Castro said that Guzmán López cannot be turned over to the U.S. authorities, and therefore “must remain in the place where he is available to this court.”

At the same time, the judge explained that while Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) has yet to file formal charges against Guzmán López, there is an outstanding U.S. arrest warrant for the alleged head of the Sinaloa Cartel for extradition to the United States.

The United States now has 60 days to formalize an extradition request for Guzmán López.

Maybe this is normal in the extradition process.  At the same time, am I the only person who is a bit worried that a “wanted man” is sitting in a Mexican prison?  After all, the Chapo family does have some expertise in driving out of prison in a motorcycle.  By the way, “The bike El Chapo rode to freedom” is a real story, not a Hollywood summer movie.

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They shot a plane on the runway

President Biden and the Secret Service must be happy that he is landing in Mexico City rather than Culiacán on the Pacific coast.  It has gotten very complicated in Culiacán in the last few days.  

This is the story:

Just days before U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Mexico, the country was thrown into turmoil as alleged cartel members blocked off an airport and areas outside a local army base, and limited access to the city of Culiacan, in an unsuccessful effort to thwart the capture of drug trafficker Ovidio Guzmán.

Mexican security forces captured Guzmán, the son of infamous Sinaloa drug lord known as “El Chapo,” in a predawn operation Thursday. Guzmán is wanted by the U.S. for his involvement in the cartel’s activities.

The chaos spurred gunfights across the northwestern state’s capital ahead of Biden’s scheduled two-day visit on Jan. 9 for bilateral talks with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the North American Leaders’ Summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

So what’s going on?  Why did the Mexican government decide to go after El Chapo’s son with President Biden on his way?

It could be a coincidence, since this is not the first time that Little Chapo has encountered Mexican troops.  Maybe they got lucky this time and got their target.  On the other hand, Guzmán is in the middle of the production of illegal fentanyl.  He is not the only one, but he is a major player.  My guess is that he will join his father in a prison in the U.S.

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Which airport, Señor Presidente?

President Biden is flying to Mexico City this week.  Normally, foreign dignitaries land at the large airport in the middle of Mexico City. I’ve landed there many times. It’s a mess because of traffic, but that’s not something that President Biden will have to worry about.  So why are we talking about President Biden and a local airport? The answer is that his host, Presidente Lopez-Obrador, wants him to land at the new airport.   

This is the story:   

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is asking President Biden to land Air Force One at a new airport farther from the center of Mexico City when he visits next month — describing it as a favor to quell domestic criticism of the project.

The unusual request sets up a potentially awkward start to the visit and would require Biden’s motorcade to add time to its commute when the president arrives Jan. 9 for talks with López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I am taking the opportunity to tell [Biden] that out of friendship, out of diplomacy, we ask him that his plane land at the Felipe Ángeles International Airport,” the 69-year-old Mexican president, known by his initials, AMLO, said Wednesday at a press conference.

I guess it’s always this or that with AMLO.

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The sudden death of Roberto Clemente


It was 50 years ago today, but I recall it quite well. I welcomed 1973 with my parents. My mother had made some amazing Cuban food, my father had some new Cuban music L.P.s, and it was a blast. We watched the famous ball from New York, then spoke with my brother, who was visiting my uncle in Puerto Rico. I hit the pillow around 2 A.M. No one knew that my uncle’s house was a few miles from the tragedy.

Then I woke up smelling my mother’s Cuban coffee, and she broke the overnight news that Roberto Clemente had been killed in a plane crash.  It was stunning:

Clemente was on his way to deliver relief supplies to Nicaragua following a devastating earthquake there a week earlier.

At the end of September, Clemente had gotten his 3,000th hit in the final game of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a hero in his native Puerto Rico, where he spent much of the off-season doing charity work. Some of his charitable work had taken him to Nicaragua, so Clemente was particularly distressed when he learned that very little aid was getting to victims of a devastating December 23 earthquake near Managua. 

The plane took off at 9 p.m. and the sounds of engine failure were heard as it went down the runway. It reached an altitude of only 200 feet before exploding and plunging into the ocean. Rescue workers were sent out immediately, but the task was next to impossible in the darkness. The bodies were never found. The news hit Puerto Rico hard–one friend of Clemente described it as the “night that happiness died.”

A subsequent investigation into the crash revealed that the plane never should have been put in the air and that the pilot had erred by over-boosting the engines.

To say the least, I was shocked to hear the news and to talk to my brother, who gave us a report about how the island was reacting.  We had grown up following Clemente’s career.  Clemente hit .317 and got #3,000 on his last at-bat of the 1972 season.  He was the MVP of the 1971 World Series and hit .318 in that postseason.

It was a rough way to start the new year.  A few months later, Clemente was inducted to The Hall of Fame.

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Looking for the economic ‘goal’

Down in Argentina, the World Cup parties go on and on.  They can’t get enough of Andres Cantor screaming “Argentina campeon del mundo” or world champion.  To be honest, Argentina won on penalty kicks, not a goal, but let’s not get technical at a time like this.  Let’s just hope that baseball never decides to end World Series extra-inning games with a home run derby.  That would be the end of civilization as we know it.

It’s the nation’s first Cup since 1986 so many people don’t remember the last time that a team brought home a trophy.  The World Cup ride had another benefit:  forget about the economy and watch the games on TV.  And most of the locals did exactly that.

Now, the tournament is over and reality is hitting most people down there.  This is from Lucinda Elliott:  

Argentina’s triumph comes amid political turmoil and a battered economy. Inflation is expected to reach 100 per cent in the year to December. Poverty is high and inching higher. The local peso has collapsed against the US dollar on the widely used black market exchange rate, shattering people’s purchasing power.  

Politics isn’t much brighter. Vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was found guilty of corruption this month and the popularity of the leftwing president Alberto Fernández has fallen so far that he was advised not to travel to present the prize to team captain Lionel Messi.

Argentina’s success in the month-long World Cup championship has offered respite to the country of 46mn from years of economic underperformance and knocks to their national pride.

Superstar Lionel Messi, who walks on water these days, did not make it to the presidential palace for the customary photo with the president.  The team bus could not move through Buenos Aires because of the thousands on the streets.  I’ve heard some stories that Messi did not want to politicize the trophy but who knows for sure.  The current President Alberto Fernandez did not get his photo on the balcony with Messi.

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No Feliz Navidad card from Peru to Mexico

Don’t look now, but a couple of our Latin American neighbors are not very happy with each other.  As you may remember, President Pedro Castillo of Peru was impeached and replaced by Vice President Dino Boluarte.  Apparently, the Peruvian Congress had enough of their President’s attacks on the legislature.  They impeached and arrested him and that should have been the end of a local matter.

Not so fast.  President Andres Lopez-Obrador of Mexico, the self-appointed leader of everything, publicly criticized Peru and that’s when the back and forth began.   

The latest in the crisis is that Peru has told the Mexican ambassador to go home.  This is the story:   

Peru declared Mexico’s ambassador to Lima “persona non grata” and ordered him to leave the country on Tuesday, Peru’s foreign minister announced, in the latest escalation of tensions between the two nations after Peru ousted Pedro Castillo as president.

The abrupt order, a severe measure in the world of diplomacy, gives Mexico’s envoy to the South American country just 72 hours to exit.

The Peruvian government’s decision came hours after Mexico’s top diplomat announced that his country had granted asylum to the family of Castillo, who faces rebellion charges from behind bars after attempting what critics have labeled a coup on Dec. 7.    

Peru’s foreign ministry posted on social media that the ejection of Mexican Ambassador Pablo Monroy was due to “repeated statements from the highest authorities of that country regarding the political situation in Peru,” a thinly veiled reference to the support Mexico’s president has offered fellow leftist Castillo since his ouster by an overwhelming vote of lawmakers and his subsequent arrest.

Mexico’s foreign minister took to Twitter on Tuesday night to blast Monroy’s expulsion, deriding it as “unjustified and reprehensible.”

We don’t know if Mr. Monroy is Mexico-bound, but it won’t be long.

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Peru to Mexico: It’s none of your business

As you may remember, Peru has a new president.  A few days ago, President Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested and VP Dina Boluarte moved up to the presidency. It was orderly but dramatic.

Up in Mexico, President Andres Lopez-Obrador, a man who thinks that he has to stick his nose in everything, told Marcelo Embrard, Mexican Foreign Secretary, to have his ambassador in Lima visit with the disgraced president and discuss political asylum in Mexico.  Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

To say the least, Peru did not like it at all, as you can see in this news story:    

Rejecting statements of Mexican authorities, Peru’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Mexican ambassador Pablo Monroy over statements that run along the lines of interference in internal affairs. 

“The expressions of the Mexican authorities constitute an interference in the internal affairs of Peru, and are not consistent with the events that have occurred in recent days,” the foreign ministry said on Friday, adding that it has summoned Mexican Ambassador to Peru, Pablo Monroy.

“Rejecting statements” is diplomatic for none of your business, Mexico!  The problem here is that former President Castillo was an ally of the Mexican leader, known as AMLO.  I guess he took this personally and decided to stick his nose into a local matter.  Over the years, Mexico has always been critical of those who “meddle” in other country’s affairs.  Furthermore, President Lopez-Obrador thinks of himself as the leader of Latin America, a self-appointed position that says more about his ego than his popularity.

Will the disgraced Peruvian President get a warm greeting in Mexico soon?  I don’t think so, because Lopez-Obrador has a big black eye today.

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Today’s headline comes from Argentina

It’s been a crazy week in South America. In Peru, a president was arrested and removed from office.  The U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru is advising Americans to avoid crowds, demonstrations, and comply with police.  Over in Brazil, President elect Lula is trying to put a cabinet together in a bitterly divided country.

Over in Argentina, where everybody is talking about the World Cup these days, VP Cristina Fernandez got some bad news:   

Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández was convicted and sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison and a lifetime ban from holding public office for a fraud scheme that embezzled $1 billion through public works projects during her presidency.

A three-judge panel found the Peronist leader guilty of fraud, but rejected a charge of running a criminal organization, for which the sentence could have been 12 years in prison. It was the first time an Argentine vice president has been convicted of a crime while in office.

Fernández lashed out at the verdict, describing herself as the victim of a “judicial mafia.” But she also later announced that she would not run next year for the presidency, a post she previously held in 2007-2015.

The sentence isn’t firm until appeals are decided, a process that could take years. She will remains immune from arrest meanwhile.

So the appeals mean that VP Fernandez won’t be arrested anytime soon.  She is also lucky that everyone is focused on the Argentina vs Netherlands game this weekend.  The game will get her off the front pages for now but it won’t soften the bitter divisions in the country.   

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Violence south of the border

Down Mexico way, violence is out of control.  It’s what everyone talks about when you speak with friends south of the border.  This is from Kelin Dillon and Pulse News Mexico:    

Only weeks after hactivist group Guacamaya revealed to the public that 72 percent of Mexico is under control of organized crime groups, Mexico experienced its most violent month of the year yet, registering 2,481 intentional homicides throughout Oct. 2022.

A total of 92 intentional murders were committed on Monday, Oct. 31 alone, says information publicized by Mexico’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) and Secretariat of National Defense’s (Sedena) daily security reports.

October’s high homicide frequency eclipses May 2022’s 2,472 intentional homicides, upping the daily homicide rate from 79.7 deaths per day to 80 murders per day between the two months, while also increasing 6.5 percent month-to-month from September to October.

However, it must be noted that the information included in the government’s daily public security reports are not finalized, with complete data available for analysis put out once a month by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

Mass murders also contributed to October’s record-high homicide rate, including the homicide of 20 people in San Miguel Totolapan, Guerrero on Oct. 5, and the murder of another 12 people in a bar in Irapuato, Guanajuato — Mexico’s most homicidal state of the month — on Oct. 15.

Information recently released by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) went on to reveal that Mexico experienced more than 35,700 homicides in 2021, with 17,000 of said murders occurring between the age groups of 15 and 34 years old, officially placing homicide as the number one cause of death for this demographic in Mexico.

Well, whatever happened to hugs rather than bullets, President Lopez-Obrador strategy?  I guess that the criminals did not get the memo to start hugging.  They are not putting down their high-powered weapons, either. Gun laws work as well in Mexico as they do in Chicago, Philadelphia etc.

Will “El Presidente” turn the page and try something new?  I don’t know, but we are impacted. The violence will accelerate migration north and more will claim asylum from the violence. It’s unsustainable, but the Biden administration is too worried about MAGA rather than sealing the border under national security considerations.

Don’t forget to think about all of this when you vote on Tuesday.

P.S.  Check out my blog for posts, podcasts and videos. (My new American Thinker post)