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Lopez Obrador claims Mexico is safer than the US, citing Cancun’s tourism boom

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at a campaign rally in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico, on June 18, 2018. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Mexico’s tourism boom is proof the country is safe to travel, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in an attempt to give reassurances after the kidnapping of four Americans set off calls by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on drug cartels.

The president said Monday than more U.S. citizens than ever have come to live in Mexico while visitors to Cancun, the country’s top tourist destination, are at a record level. Doubts about Mexico’s security are “vile” manipulation attempts, he said, criticizing the U.S. State Department for its warnings about traveling in much of the Latin American country.

“Mexico is safer than than the United States and there’s no security problem that prevents travel,” AMLO, as the president is known, said during his daily press briefing.

In 2020, Mexico had a homicide rate of 28.4 per 100,000 people, compared to 6.5 for the U.S., according to data collected by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

Last week, after four U.S. citizens were kidnapped after crossing the border from Texas, two of them ended up dead. The case, extensively reported by U.S. networks, lead some Republican politicians to call for a military intervention of their southern neighbor.

“This is a campaign against Mexico by the conservative politicians in the United States who don’t want the country to continue transforming for the better,” AMLO said.

Visitors arriving to Mexico by plane reached nearly 2 million people in January, almost 33% more than a year before, according to data published by the country’s statistics institute on Friday.


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