The total number of victims of violent deaths since Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018 and is close to 20,000, according to the National Public Security System of Mexico.
Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned Friday he would not allow the U.S. to conduct cross-border armed operations, after Donald Trump vowed to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups. While it does not directly give authority for overseas military operations, many Mexicans are nervous it could lead to unilateral US action against gangs.
Lopez Obrador reiterated he would not permit an armed foreign intervention a century after the country was last invaded, arguing that his government was already doing its part to battle criminal gangs.
"Armed foreigners can not intervene on our territory", said Lopez Obrador, proposing instead more active cooperation with the United States in the fight against drug gangs, which have demonstrated their strength in a series of battles with security forces and civilians in recent months.
Lopez Obrador's government says its priorities are disrupting the cartels' cash flows and money-laundering opportunities, and halting illegal arms trafficking into Mexico from the United States. "We will not allow that", Lopez Obrador said. Mexican authorities reacted swiftly, with the foreign ministry saying that it has contacted USA officials "to understand the content and the reach" of what the United States president had said.
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Trump has repeatedly offered military assistance to help combat the cartels, but Mexico has consistently rejected the offer, even after the massacre of a gangster Mexican family in the United States this month.
In his morning press conference, the president addressed the issue in depth because of the concerns raised by the statements of the United States president and the alleged intentions of intervening in Mexico in the battle against organized crime.
The Mexican Foreign Minister said earlier that next week, US Attorney General William Barr will visit Mexico to discuss security cooperation.
"What we need to address organised crime is more mutual cooperation, not elements that will put distance between us or create hostilities", said Ebrard.
"Ebrard is waiting to hear from Barr on what precisely such a designation will entail for Mexico given the lack of details and precedent such designation carries", she said.