Demonstrating the restraint he has shown throughout his one-year presidency, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador responded diplomatically to an announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump that he will designate Mexico’s drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
Such a move would “stigmatize” Mexico, threaten its sovereignty and obstruct bilateral relations with the United States, many Mexicans are saying.
Speaking at his regular morning press conference on Thursday, Lopez Obrador said Thanksgiving Day was not a good time to enter into a “confrontation,” adding that he had no wish to polemicize the issue. “Cooperation yes, intervention, no,” he said.
Foreign Relations Minister Marcelo Ebrard was also conciliatory, noting on Twitter that diplomacy to defend Mexico’s sovereignty was “the way forward.” However, a Foreign Ministry press release noted that Ebrard has solicited a “high-level meeting” with U.S. authorities to discuss the development “as soon as possible.”
Only a day earlier, Ebrard had told reporters that he did not believe the United States would take such a measure, which he called “unnecessary” given that Mexico is fully committed to fighting the drug cartels.
The issue, however, has taken on another dimension following the recent incident in which nine dual U.S.-Mexican citizens — women and children — were killed by cartel gunmen in an ambush in northern Mexico.