Security
Mexico's Attorney General Agrees with Trump, Clashes with López Obrador on Drug War Strategy
The strategy has the support of the Mexican Armed Forces. AG is seeking to modify legislation and return to the old confrontation tactics.

On Wednesday, the decibels were raised in the underground conflict between Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero. AMLO challenged Mr. Gertz Manero at a press conference and said he did not support some of his judicial reform projects.

LPO revealed that two weeks ago the head of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, had told the President that Gertz's plans, which basically overturn the new accusatory penal system that gives prosecutors more investigative power, were not going to be endorsed by the highest court.

Gertz seeks to reinstate a kind of inquisitive justice model that persisted in Mexico throughout its history and that resulted in countless wrongful convictions. AMLO rejects this proposal because he understands that it could trigger an escalation of violence if the new tools are applied against key figures in organized crime. This is the axis of the confrontation that is experienced daily in the meetings of the president's security cabinet. The prosecutor in turn has strong backing from the military and, specifically, from Admiral Rafael Ojeda.

Mexico fears use of National Guard against immigrants will create an attractive market for drug cartels

U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

Gertz's hard-line strategy is further supported by Donald Trump's Attorney General William Barr, who also promotes the idea of an all-out prosecution of drug lords.

The situation is dramatic because, in contrast to the economic sphere, where the President insists that the situation is better than what the opposition says, in the security sphere there is no divergence: AMLO wants results because he knows that the numbers are inescapable. Violence in Mexico is escalating.

Faced with this demand, Gertz and the hard wing of the Security cabinet are going for an extreme hardening that also comes with a permanent addition: the departure of Secretary of Security Alfonso Durazo. And perhaps behind this concern is the explanation for the rumors of an imminent departure -which, strictly speaking, has never materialized.

The problem is that AMLO does not want to give so much power to Gertz. This is one of the reasons why the President wanted him as head of the National Guard rather than as Attorney General. But the Senate favored him out of the three options laid out by the president.

 Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Genaro García Luna.  

The possibility of Gertz's resignation is remote. With discretion, the prosecutor has in his favor a powerful lobby among governors, businessmen, military and diplomatic representatives who advocate on his behalf. Gertz will not leave office, although the president may be seen questioning him more often in his contacts with the press.

However, his detractors in the presidential environment point to a weak flank: the arrest of Former Security Secretary Genaro García Luna in the US. He has had a stormy relationship with Gertz since the Vicente Fox administration (2000-2006), which included a strange episode at New York's JFK airport, a story that Foreign Secretary Jorge Castañeda often recalls in his conversations. Not for nothing has Gertz remained absolutely silent about that decisive arrest.


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