As much as 40% of Mexican territory is prisoner to chronic insecurity and violence, the future chief of staff of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the incoming president, has claimed.
Alfonso Romo, a prominent entrepreneur who was part of the leftist’s watershed election triumph last week, made the assertion during a summit of business leaders on Monday in Mexico City.
“Veracruz is paralyzed. Tamaulipas, paralyzed; Michoacán, paralyzed. Guerrero, paralyzed,” Romo said, referring to four of the most notoriously violent states in a country that last year suffered a record 29,000 murders.
“I won’t go on, so I don’t scare you,” Romo added, according to the newspaper Unomásuno which splashed the widely-reported claim onto its front page under the bright red headline: “Paralyzed by Insecurity”.
López Obrador, or Amlo as he is widely known, made cutting violence a key prong of his third presidential bid and his promise to “pacify” Mexico helped him secure more than 30 million votes.
Amlo has vowed to rethink Mexico’s devastating and highly militarized war on drugs – which experts blame for at least 200,000 deaths since 2006 – and be tough on the social causes of crime.