Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, under pressure from the Trump administration, has beefed up his strategy to fight drug cartels, including bringing in “Los Marinos“, Mexico’s elite security force, back to the front lines of the drug war.
The moves mark a shift by Mexico from a counternarcotics strategy that largely ended the pursuit of high-profile arrests and focused almost exclusively on poverty alleviation.
López Obrador has reinforced his strategy to fight drug cartels, including bringing the Navy to the forefront of the war against transnational criminal organizations , according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The measures mark a change of anti-narcotics strategy, that ended largely with the search for high-profile arrests and focused almost exclusively on poverty alleviation.
“We are operating again,” said a senior Mexican Navy officer. “The objectives we must pursue have been defined.”
In the opinion of Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2013, the change of strategy in the combat against organized crime is the result of the two trips of the attorney general of the United States to Mexico and ” of the threat of designating criminal groups as terrorist organizations and using punitive tariffs to force actions against fentanyl. “
According to the WSJ, the change in strategy comes amid growing alarm in Washington over Mexico’s failure to take strong measures against drug cartels, particularly after the massacre of nine US citizens in November by alleged hitmen: the LeBarón family.
Preliminary figures from the Mexican government indicate an increase in the number of murders in Mexico during the past year; In 2018, 36 thousand 685 homicides were registered, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
A spokesman for the Mexican government said that any decisions Mexico has taken, including actions to work with the United States, have been for the benefit of our country and not due to pressure from the Americans.
The attorney general has made two trips to Mexico City in recent months, meeting with López Obrador and the main security officials.
The Mazatlan Post