Lopez Obrador acknowledges cocaine trafficking along Mexico’s southern border

Mexico City, Oct 16 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador acknowledged Monday that drug traffickers are bringing cocaine from South America to Chiapas, a southern Mexican border state facing a wave of violence related to organized crime.

“We have had the presence of drug trafficking groups. Airplanes with cocaine from South America come down there (to Chiapas), and the (National) Guard has to arrive soon because, if not, the gangs, with the support of some locals, protect the criminals, which is why the area is being attended to there. There are two groups,” he said.

The President pointed out in his morning press conference that inhabitants of the Lacandon jungle detained a group of the National Guard this weekend because they wanted the intervention of the Armed Forces, including the Army and the Navy, in the dispute between the delinquents.

“A group detained these members of the National Guard because they wanted them to go and arrest a leader of another group in a town with the purpose of arresting them to lynch them,” López Obrador commented.

“The National Guard and a lieutenant colonel in charge of the operation acted well. Even though they detained marines, they did not fall into provocation,” he added.

The native peoples have warned of a climate of “civil war” in Chiapas this year due to the armed conflicts, which have unleashed homicides, disappearances, and forced displacements, particularly in indigenous communities and those related to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

Violence has worsened after residents of Frontera Comalapa, on Mexico’s border with Guatemala, in September denounced the state’s abandonment following the incursion of a group linked to the Sinaloa Cartel.

López Obrador has previously denied that there is a social base of support for drug trafficking in the area. Still, now he asked the inhabitants “not to lend themselves to such things.”

“I take this opportunity to tell the people to help us, not to lend themselves to such things, that violence should be avoided, that if there is a National Guard presence, it is to take care of the people, not repress them,” he said. EFE



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