Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is under intense criticism after claiming that 60 percent of the daily victims of cartel violence were drunk or under the influence of drugs. The statement follows fresh reports of Mexico suffering an average 100 of such homicides per day.
During his Wednesday press conference, Lopez Obrador made the troubling claim addressing the rising cartel violence.
En México, en promedio, cien personas son asesinadas al día. El presidente mexicano @lopezobrador_ dijo hace unos minutos en su #conferenciapresidente que sesenta de los cien que morirán asesinados hoy (según la estadística) estarían borrachos o drogados. pic.twitter.com/ybJ87SLYVN
— Verónica Calderón (@veronicalderon) February 26, 2020
“60 percent of the murdered, in shootouts, it has been proven that they were under the effects of drugs or alcohol,” AMLO said. “That is why these crimes are so ruthless, that produces so much sadness.”
Soon after making the statement, various journalists in Mexico City criticized AMLO’s smear by arguing there were no statistics to back the claim. The statement comes amid multiple cartel territorial wars in once peaceful areas such as Baja California, Guanajuato, and Cancun.
AMLO was severely criticized for his soft approach against cartels, calling for “hugs not bullets” and for appearing to defend the rights of traffickers or hitmen over regular citizens.
In October 2019, Mexican authorities arrested one of the sons of infamous drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, however after the Sinaloa Cartel issued threats, AMLO ordered his release. In a similar fashion, federal authorities and judges have become famous for releasing jailed traffickers and cartel bosses after their arrests are routinely ruled “illegal.”