Mexico president Lopez Obrador rejects Trump's offer to 'wage war' or use the army against drug cartels following Mormon family massacre

After Trump mourned the massacre of nine American citizens, including six children, in northern Mexico and sought a joint mission against the cartels, Obrador said waging war against them in the past wasn't successful.

                            Mexico president Lopez Obrador rejects Trump's offer to 'wage war' or use the army against drug cartels following Mormon family massacre
Lopez Obrador (Getty Images)

Many attribute his rise to the presence of Donald Trump in the neighboring country. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is seen as a populist leader who became the president of Mexico last year as a leftist response to the Trump phenomenon after the American president targeted the southern neighbor on myriad occasions in relation to trade and immigration. That the 65-year-old Obrador doesn’t see his American counterpart favorably was evident in September when he tempted the latter to buy the luxury airplane of the Mexican president as he thought it was not doing any favor to poor Mexicans. 

And on Tuesday, November 5, Obrador had another opportunity to nullify Trump when he turned down his offer to help Mexico’s war on the drug cartels and “wipe them off the face of the earth” following the mass murder of American citizens recently. Three American mothers and six children from a Mormon community located in northern Mexico were killed in an attack allegedly carried out by drug cartel gunmen and Trump mourned the tragedy on Twitter before vowing a retaliation. 

Obrador defended his rejection of Trump’s offer saying earlier Mexican governments had called war against cartels but they were not successful. Speaking to the media in his country, he said he would thank Trump for the offer but didn’t think there was any necessity for an American aid. 

'Foreign intervention not required'

“I don't think we need the intervention of a foreign government to deal with these cases,” Obrador, who has penned the book ‘Oye, Trump’, said. 

The White House also confirmed in a statement on the same day that the two neighboring presidents had a talk over the recent violence in Mexico and efforts to deal with the violent behavior of cartels and criminal groups in the region which is on the rise. 

Military police gather at an early morning murder, one of the numerous murders over a 24 hour period, on March 26, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. Drug-related violence in Mexico claims thousands of lives every year. (Getty Images)

The White House confirmed the two men spoke on Tuesday.  

‘'President Trump made clear that the United States condemns these senseless acts of violence that took the lives of nine American citizens and offered Mexico assistance to ensure the perpetrators face justice. The two leaders also discussed ongoing border cooperation and the strong bilateral ties between the United States and Mexico,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in the statement.
In his offer of help to Mexico on Twitter, Trump said: “If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively. The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”

“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth. We merely await a call from your great new president!”


'Can't fight fire with fire'

Last month, Trump called up his Mexican counterpart to express “solidarity” over the events in the Mexican city of Culiacan where the government stopped an attempt to arrest a drug suspect as it would lead to big violence and loss of lives. Obrador said on the occasion that his government took the right decision to release one of the sons of imprisoned drug lord “El Chapo” — a day after his brief capture by the army led to a massive violence and paralyzed Culiacan. Obrador said then the decision was to protect citizens and that one cannot “fight fire with fire”. That’s an exact antithesis to Trump’s prescription for defeating an army with an army.

Trump’s relations with Mexico have improved over the last many months, despite the initial irritants. Trump now thanks Mexico almost regularly for guarding the border and even criticizes the Democrats who have not cooperated in funding his controversial wall.

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