Mexico on the verge of becoming a police state after bloody weekend of drug cartel violence

Jennie Taer, DCNF

Mexico is on the verge of becoming a police state as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador considers bypassing legislators to keep his military in communities to address cartel violence, according to The Associated Press.

“A constitutional reform would be ideal, but we have to look for ways, because they (the opposition) instead of helping us, are blocking us, there is an intent to prevent us from doing anything,” López Obrador said, according to the AP.

Lopez Obrador’s opposition is two political parties that supported the deployment of the military to address public safety issues in previous years, according to the AP. The President, who previously called to take the military off the streets, is now hoping to change the National Guard force he’s expanded to 115,000 troops to be controlled by the country’s Department of Defense.

The Mexican President said that the National Guard’s presence on the streets would end in 2024.

Cartels blockaded streets and burned businesses in several Mexican cities over the weekend in response to authorities’ hunting down their members, local affiliate ABC7 reported. The actions, some of which are in close proximity to the U.S. border, could potentially wreak havoc on American soil, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) El Paso, Texas, division Kyle Williamson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Cartel violence in Mexico negatively impacts U.S. communities along the U.S.-Mexico border economically and socially, and often creates an uptick in violence in the neighboring U.S. communities. Prolonged violence can cause fear and insecurity to spill over into our border communities as well,” Williamson, who is now the administrator for the West Texas Anti Gang Center in El Paso told the DCNF.

Cartels in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada, which are cities in the Mexican state of Baja California, set vehicles ablaze and blockaded some roads, according to an ABC affiliate in San Diego.

On Saturday, the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana instructed employees of the U.S. government to “shelter in place until further notice.” The order has since been lifted.

 

 

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In Michoacan, authorities detained 167 alleged members of a criminal organization, which caused alleged criminals to form six roadblocks, according to Border Report.

In Juarez, hundreds of Mexican troops were deployed on Friday after days of gang violence, where armed assailants targeted local businesses and killed civilians, according to the Los Angeles Times. Jalisco and Guanajuato were also targets of criminals creating roadblocks and starting fires.

A spokesperson for Lopez Obrador didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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