Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – better known in Mexico as AMLO – is approaching the end of the first year of his six year term in office. Prior to being elected, AMLO had for years been a perpetual outsider and critic of the long-standing governing consensus in Mexico. He was elected with a wide majority, and promised to take a different approach to the war on drugs, including demilitarizing the anti-drug mission, and legalizing some drugs, like marijuana. He also said he would offer scholarships and increase educational opportunities to youth to keep them out of organized crime.
While he has done some of these things to some degree, organized crime and corruption has increased in Mexico since his election. And, incidents like the recent one in Culiacán when Army troops captured the son of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, only to release him soon after because the Sinaloa Cartel forces overpowered the security forces, and the murder of three moms and six children in northern Mexico who were all U.S. citizens, are leaving many to conclude AMLO’s softer stance toward the cartels is not working.
We're getting an update on the current state of politics and security in Mexico from Dr. Rick Coughlin, he’s an Associate Professor of Political Science at Florida Gulf Coast University who specializes in Mexican politics. We had Dr. Coughlin on the show about a year ago when AMLO was first elected.