In a bid for presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a leading candidate, has promised to put an end to the drug war in Mexico if he is elected.
Obrador announced a willingness to open a dialogue with the cartel drug lords, proposing to grant amnesty to them with the aim to restore peace in the country. Given the atrocities committed by the cartels, his announcement was not met with approval, stirring outrage among the population.
People condemned him for being “insensitive”, furious with his idea of achieving peace by offering narcos a “hall pass”, even accusing him of earning the votes of the cartel members.
This year, Mexico may have one of the bloodiest since 2011. October 2017 was reportedly registered as the most murderous month in years with 2,317 victims recorded.
Since 2011, at least 300,000 people were displaced and more than 28,000 reported as disappeared, as Mexican drug cartels earn between US$19 billion and US$29 billion annually from trafficking narcotics into the United States.
The current situation is aggravted by bloody clashes between the two biggest cartels: Sinaloa, formerly led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and Jalisco, which split from Sinaloa in 2010.
A front-runner in the presidential bid for the entire campaign, Obrador might have weakened his position with the amnesty proposal.
Political opponents see the proposal as Obrador offering them “an early Christmas gift”.
In 2006, the government launched a campaign against drug trafficking, when rival cartels began to fight each other over territotyr. The violence has not stopped since then.