Mexico's President Boasts His Country Is Safer Than The United States

Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has stated that his country is "safer than the United States" as he strikes back against critiques of his nation's security record in the wake of a kidnapping in northern Mexico during which two US citizens were slain.

The March 3 kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoros received extensive media attention on both sides of the border, and as a result, Mexican officials detained five persons who are allegedly connected to a drug cartel.

However, Lopez Obrador has blamed a "anti-Mexico" conservative element in the US government for using the incident as political capital to stir up tensions about his country's safety record. This is especially true given that immigration and border-security issues continue to be hotly debated issues in the US political ecosystem.

He stated, "Mexican is safer than the United States," on Monday at a press conference. Traveling throughout Mexico securely is not a problem.

The kidnapping victims' home state of South Carolina's Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, announced last week that he intended to draft legislation officially designating drug cartels as international terrorist groups. To close down drug labs, the proposed bill would allow US military operations across the Mexican border.

In defending his nation, Lopez Obrador also cited statistics showing a dramatic increase in US travel to Mexico last year. These results came despite the US State Department categorizing 30 of Mexico's 32 areas as having varying levels of travel risk. The president also issued a warning that if the criticism persisted, he may advise Mexican-Americans to vote against Republican candidates in forthcoming elections.

Canada and the United Kingdom have also issued travel warnings for Mexico to their people.

Obrador also noted that more Americans have moved to reside in Mexico over the last few years. "So, what's going on? Why the suspicion?

According to data gathered by the World Bank in 2020, Mexico has a homicide rate of 28 per 100,000 people, which is four times higher than the rate in the United States. Despite a 7% decrease in the murder rate in 2022, Lopez Obrado's administration is still on track to have the highest six-year homicide rate ever.

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