Despite breaking a violence record in the first quarter of 2019, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is rejecting U.S. security aid on the basis that money could be more constructive if it were directed toward economic development in Central America and southern Mexico.
In a statement earlier this week, Obrador declared, “We don’t want the so-called Merida Initiative [security cooperation agreement between U.S –Mexico]….We don’t want helicopter gunships. We don’t want resources for any kind of military support.”
With illegal immigration surging in both Mexico and the United States, Obrador believes that economic development in the Northern Triangle countries and southern Mexico may improve conditions that keeps migrants in their home countries. This includes providing more education, higher wages, and physical infrastructure.
However, Obrador is dismissing the fact that Mexico remains a country plagued with violence, crime, and drug smuggling. Within the last few years, Mexico has demonstrated a need for improved security measures. Below are some startling figures:
- Last year, there were more than 33,500 murders in Mexico. This is considered the most violent year in Mexico’s history.
- As of 2018, five of the six most violent cities in the world are in Mexico. These include Tijuana, Acapulco, Victoria, Juarez, and Irapuato.
- Since 2006, more than 37,000 individuals have gone missing in Mexico. Criminal organizations, such as drug smuggling cartels, are responsible for many of these disappearances.
It is mindboggling to see the leftist nationalist reject U.S. security aid, especially at a time where Mexico’s widespread violence and crime show no sign of improvement. Obrador, among many left-leaning American politicians, believe that economic development is the panacea for the surge of migrants entering the United States.
For many years, the United States has given significant aid packages for development in the Northern Triangle countries, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars annually, but these countries have seen little improvement.
Income inequality, poverty, and violence in these nations remain high and the funding has evidently not curbed the flow of migrants trekking northward to the U.S.-Mexico border. The United States expects to apprehend more than 1,000,000 individuals this year, the highest since 2006. The largest group of migrants apprehended in U.S. history occurred just last month. Clearly, there is a disconnect here.
Ultimately, eradicating widespread violence and crime in Mexico is not the duty of our nation, but when help is offered, Mexico should not refuse assistance that is undoubtedly needed.