AMLO has been passive in the fight against drug cartels says former Ambassador Landau


President López Obrador “has basically adopted a ‘laissez fair’ attitude towards the cartels, which is obviously problematic for our government (in the US). It is a big problem for Mexico,” said the former US ambassador in Mexico, Christopher Landau.

 Christopher Landau, former United States ambassador to Mexico, considered that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was passive in the face of the actions of the drug trafficking cartels, considering that it is an impossible confrontation to win.

In a meeting with the Council of American Ambassadors (CAA, in English) held last week and attended by former ambassadors that country, Landau issued various comments regarding the López Obrador government.

“It has basically adopted a ‘laissez fair’ attitude towards the cartels, which is obviously problematic for our government (in the US). It is a big problem for Mexico,” he said.

“He sees the cartels as his Vietnam. Just as it was for his predecessors,” reiterated the former US ambassador to Mexico, underlining the passive attitude of President López Obrador towards organized crime groups.

“AMLO is very insistent in trying to avoid this type of conflict (with the cartels),” said Landau, recalling the recent statements of the head of the United States Northern Command (US Northcom), General Glen VanHerck, who considered that the cartels of the Transnational organized crime operate in about 30 to 35 percent of Mexican territory, “in areas that are often ungovernable,” causing many of the problems that the American Union is facing on the border with Mexico.

“I think there is no doubt that they play a broad role in the governance of Mexico,” said Landau.

At another point in his participation, which was published on the CAA website, he referred to the case of Chapo Guzmán’s son, Ovidio, who was released by the Army when he had already been apprehended.

It also addressed the case of the attack on the secretary of Public Security of Mexico City, Omar García Harfuch, and the arrest of the former Secretary of Defense, General Salvador Cienfuegos.

“(The López Obrador government) let (Ovidio Guzmán) go because they did not want to have more generalized bloodshed in Culiacán. It was simply a terrible moment. The truth is that the Mexican Army was outgunned,” he told the former ambassadors gathered.

“There has never been such a blatant attack as (the attack on García Harfuch) in the heart of Mexico City. And, to my surprise, the Mexican central government basically did nothing! It didn’t say, ‘Enough is enough! We will not tolerate such a thing happening! ‘ “he added.

While in the Cienfuegos case, he criticized the capture by the United States of the former Secretary of Defense accused of drug trafficking and then his release a month later after an agreement with the Mexican government.

“In hindsight, I wish I had fought and gone to the Attorney General (of the US Bill Barr) … to stop it (…) The broader interests of our cooperation in law enforcement are bigger than this character”, considered the former diplomat.

Another issue that Landau addressed was the relationship between Donald Trump and López Obrador. He assured that the North American president avoided pressuring the Mexican on the issue of irregular migration and on other issues such as his country’s investment in the Mexican energy sector.

“There were many things that AMLO wanted to do on the internal (agenda) on issues such as the energy sector. I wanted to protect US companies … but I didn’t want to get involved in internal Mexican issues either,” Landau revealed.

Another issue that he also agreed on in his long speech was the popularity of López Obrador and explained that it is because he capitalized on the errors and corruption of the PRI and PAN governments, especially the latter’s inability not to make a real change in the year 2000.

While Carlos Slim, confessed to having met with the owner of América Móvil, to request on behalf of the US government not to buy telecommunications equipment for the new 5G network from the Chinese transnational, Huawei, given what they considered a strategic danger.


Mexico Daily Post