Call her a hero, and call her dead soon enough.
The mayor of Tijuana has been in hiding in an underground military base south of the city after receiving death threats from the cartel.
It further illustrates Mexico’s soaring violence rates, which has risen by 15% in a single year, topping out at 35,000 killings so far for 2023 alone.
Some Mexican cities are plenty safe, but the ones on the border seem to get the brunt of the most serious violence in the country. Killings in Tijuana specifically are up 9% within the last year, but it hasn’t deterred Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero from doing her best to curb cartel control. She had police seize 1,700 guns and arrest 56 key cartel players. Unsurprisingly, cartel leadership threatened to kill her in response, as ZeroHedge reports.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said Caballero has been in the base for about two weeks, with no exit date in sight.
“They are angry, and that’s why I received threats, so I’m going to live here,” Caballero explained.
To dig deeper into the story, AMLO seems to finally be pushing back against the cartel. At least half a dozen mayors in Mexico get assassinated each year, and they don’t get the same protection.
AMLO famously called off the arrest of drug lord El Chapo Guzman’s son when there was a shoot-out in the cartel-laden city of Culiacan, Sinaloa. The guy was in law enforcement’s cross hairs, but they let him go for fear of more violent retribution. They could have arrested or killed him point blank.
But Caballero is a member of the Morena party. That’s the party created by AMLO to break free from Mexico’s historic two party rule (PRI and PAN). There was great hope following the corruption of PRI’s Pena Nieto presidential administration. But violence has gotten even worse under AMLO.
The problem is, there is an election happening in July of next year. In Mexico, presidents only serve one six year term, so AMLO is ineligible for re-election. But his protégé is Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who should be able to snatch the Morena nomination after a bit of a fight. She’d be the first woman and Jewish president of Mexico.
But Morena’s popularity has been sinking as violence has explodes across the nations. PRI held the governor’s seat in the key border state of Coahuila this month, when observers thought the original Mexican political party had been left for dead.
But AMLO is slowly changing his tune, hoping Morena retains relevance. Regardless of whether there are sinister notions behind it, it’s nice to see Mexico’s power structure doing the right thing. Politician protection is a most novel idea to them.