Mexican president says his country ‘is safer than the United States’
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asserted on Monday that his country “is safer” than the U.S. amid the fallout from last week’s high-profile kidnappings of American citizens in his country, two of whom ended up dead.
“Mexico is safer than the United States. There is no issue with traveling safely through Mexico,” López Obrador told reporters at his daily press briefing, according to reports. “That’s something the U.S. citizens also know, just like our fellow Mexicans that live in the US.”
López Obrador noted that his country is a popular traveling destination for American tourists and expats, claiming that there is “a campaign against Mexico from conservative U.S. politicians that don’t want this country to keep developing for the good of the Mexican people.”
“U.S. government alerts say that it’s safe to only travel [in the states of] Campeche and Yucatan. If that were the case, so many Americans wouldn’t be coming in to live in Mexico City and the rest of the country,” he said. “In the past few years is when more Americans have come to live in Mexico. So, what’s happening? Why the paranoia?”
Four Americans were kidnapped by armed men in Mexico last week after traveling to the country to obtain a medical procedure. Two of them were killed by members of a cartel, which has since apologized.
The State Department has active travel advisories for a number of Mexican regions due to crime and kidnapping, suggesting Americans exercise increased caution or reconsider travel to two dozen states and urging them not to visit several others.
Texas officials are warning state residents against travel south of the border during the upcoming spring break.
López Obrador recently called out U.S. lawmakers who suggested military action against Mexican drug cartels in wake of the deadly kidnapping.
“We are not going to allow any foreign government to intervene, much less a foreign government’s armed forces,” he said at a press conference last week. “We are not a protectorate of the United States, nor a colony of the United States. Mexico is a free, independent, sovereign state.”
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