Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador loves President Joe Biden. But Obrador, the left-wing progressive leader of his narco-state, regularly insults the United States, except when he is angling for amnesty to be granted to the millions of illegal immigrants already living in the U.S.
“You are the first president of the United States in a very long time that has not built even one meter of wall,” Mexico’s President Obrador told President Biden at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City last January. “And we thank you for that, sir, although some might not like it, although the conservatives don’t like it.”
At the same meeting President Obrador lobbied President Biden to insist that Congress “regularize migration situations” for “millions of Mexicans” already in the United States. “Regularize” is a euphemism for “amnesty.” President Obrador portrayed these illegal immigrants as contributors “to the development of that great nation, which is the United States of America.” In reality, many illegal immigrants are draining public funds and resources, which undermines the quality of public services available to Americans.
Note Obrador’s sweet-talk about the United States when he wanted the U.S. government to do him the big favor of granting amnesty to “millions of Mexicans” living illegally in this country. Of course, President Biden does not need to be persuaded. He is already seeking to incorporate paths for legal status and ultimate U.S. citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants as part of his so-called immigration reform bill.
President Obrador’s sweet-talk about the United States did not last very long. During the weeks that followed he proceeded to insult the United States and threaten to interfere in this country’s elections.
Last month, for example, President Obrador made the outrageous claim that “there is more democracy in Mexico than could exist in the United States.” He added that he has “evidence to prove there is more liberty and democracy in our country,” without producing a shred of credible evidence to back up his empty boast.
The Sustainable Governance Indicators 2022 report for Mexico noted that President Obrador’s policies have undermined democracy in his country. “His efforts to concentrate power in the presidency have weakened checks and balances, horizontal accountability and autonomous state institutions,” the report stated.
President Obrador’s latest anti-democracy gambit is a new law that aims to weaken Mexico’s autonomous National Electoral Institute by defunding it. “Electoral officials warn the change will affect their ability to run free and fair elections ahead of the 2024 general election, when Lopez Obrador, who is limited to a six-year term, is expected to anoint a successor,” CNN reported.
Following the deadly kidnapping of four Americans by one of Mexico’s uncontrollable cartel groups earlier this month, President Obrador made another outrageous boast. This time, Obrador bragged that “Mexico is safer than the United States. There is no issue with traveling safely through Mexico. That’s something the US citizens also know, just like our fellow Mexicans that live in the US.”
Tell that to the families and friends of the two Americans who were so recently murdered while traveling in Mexico, as well as the families and friends of all the other Americans who have died by homicide in Mexico.
Mexico is a failing state. The Mexican government lacks control of large swathes of territory in the country, which it has ceded to private heavily armed cartels. Crime is rampant throughout Mexico.
According to data reported by the World Bank on the number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population in 2020, Mexico’s number was four times higher than that of the United States.
“In many parts of Mexico, [authorities] left a long time ago, so the people are alone, abandoned, subjected to the law of the strongest, subjected to the law of the jungle, the law of kidnapping, extortion and murder because federal and local governments aren’t interested in protecting us,” said Juan Luis Hernández Avendaño, rector of the Ibero-American University in Torreón, Coahuila, at the Jesuit university system’s annual meeting in León, Guanajuato in 2022.
During a press conference on March 9th, President Obrador washed his country’s hands of any responsibility for the fentanyl crisis that resulted in the deaths of approximately 70,000 Americans last year. “Here, we do not produce fentanyl,” he said as he blamed the problem on “social decay” in the United States.
President Obrador is a dissembler who sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil when praising his narco-state.
It is incontrovertible that much of the fentanyl trafficked by Mexican cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border is mass-produced at labs in Mexico with precursor chemicals sourced from China.
In a statement that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued last December, it said that “DEA’s top operational priority is to defeat the two Mexican drug cartels—the Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJNG) Cartels—that are primarily responsible for the fentanyl that is killing Americans today.”
The DEA’s efforts to date to defeat the cartels have been unsuccessful. Operations to target cartel activities inside Mexico have relied principally on cooperation with elements within the Mexican military and law enforcement. But as Matthew Donahue, the DEA’s deputy chief of operations, said in May 2021, “We’re willing to share [intelligence] with our counterparts in Mexico, but they themselves are too afraid to even engage with us because of repercussions from their own government if they get caught working with DEA.”
The head of Mexico’s government is of course President Obrador, who denies that Mexicans produce fentanyl and seeks to shift the blame for the fentanyl crisis to the United States.
If Mexico’s government won’t conduct tough joint military/police operations with the United States for as long as it takes to snuff out the key cartels producing fentanyl in Mexico, then the U.S. needs to defang the cartels itself.
A number of Republican lawmakers are introducing legislation that would designate several Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. But the White House claims that such terrorist designations are unnecessary because it says that the Biden administration already has all the authority it needs to deal with the cartels.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, during her March 8th press briefing, pointed to existing sanctions authority that the administration has exercised. Obviously, however, the sanctions imposed by the Biden Treasury Department have failed to make even the slightest dent in the Mexican cartels’ illicit activities.
Designating Mexican cartels trafficking fentanyl into the United States as foreign terrorist organizations would provide prosecutors with additional tools to go after any persons in the U.S. who knowingly provide “material support or resources” to these cartels. The designation would also require U.S. financial institutions that become aware that they have possession of or control over funds in which a designated cartel has an interest to retain possession of or control over the funds.
During the same March 8th press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre also said that “we continue to work in coordination with the Mexican government. And we mentioned the U.S. law enforcement — FDA — I’m sorry, FB- — FBI, D- — DEA, and DHS — have been working closely with our — with the Mexican government.”
Aside from her word salad, Ms. Jean-Pierre is indulging in wishful thinking. We have all seen how badly the Biden administration’s efforts to work in coordination with the Mexican government have turned out.
The expanding production of fentanyl in Mexico by the cartels and its smuggling into the United States poses a significant threat to U.S. national security interests. The cartels are colluding with China to produce a drug that is killing Americans in droves. Thus, some Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate are proposing to go beyond simply designating Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. They support legislation that would authorize direct U.S. military action targeting cartel drug labs in Mexico for destruction in order to stop the cartels’ production and flow of fentanyl into the United States.
Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas was one of the lawmakers who introduced such a bill earlier this year. “This is a problem of mass poisoning of the citizens of the United States and the cartels are directly responsible,” Rep. Crenshaw said in a message directed to Mexico’s President Obrador on March 8th. “My questions to you are the following: Why do you reject aid from the United States? Why do you protect the cartels? They are your enemy and the United States is your friend.”
President Obrador responded furiously to the possibility of even limited U.S. military force directed solely against the cartel labs, which would help accomplish what the Mexican government is failing to do either alone or in cooperation with the U.S. “We are not going to permit any foreign government to intervene in our territory, much less that a government’s armed forces intervene,” he said. Trumpeting Mexico’s national sovereignty, President Obrador added that Mexico is “not a protectorate of the United States, nor a colony of the United States.”
At the same time, Obrador threatened to intervene in U.S. elections by campaigning against the Republican Party. He called on Hispanics living in the U.S. “to not vote for that party because they are inhuman and interventionist.”
To which Rep. Crenshaw replied that President Obrador should instead campaign “against the cartels who are MURDERING your own people, not the Americans who want to help eradicate them.”
President Obrador is letting his arrogance and left-wing ideology get in the way of confronting his country’s drug cartel scourge that is killing Mexicans and Americans alike. The Biden administration’s open border policies and continued coddling of Obrador, with delusions that Mexico truly wants to cooperate in fighting the cartels, is appalling.