Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that travel warnings issued by the US government and media reports about violence in his country are part of a smear campaign against his administration and assured that Mexico is actually safer than the United States.
“Mexico is safer than the US, and there is no problem in traveling safely through Mexico, but US citizens also know that, and of course, our countrymen who are well informed,” said Lopez Obrador.
He said conservative politicians in the US are looking to undermine his administration’s accomplishments by portraying Mexico as a failed state.
“What they want is to create a perception of insecurity to say that Lopez Obrador’s populist, communist, autocratic, messianic government does not work,” he said.
During his morning press conference, Lopez Obrador pointed out that Mexico has been a major recipient in recent years of Americans coming to live in the country, saying the travel warnings issued by the US government are unfounded since Americans are settling throughout Mexico.
Of Mexico’s 32 states, the US Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued “do not travel” advisories for six, including Tamaulipas, where two US citizens were killed and two were kidnapped last week in the Mexican border city of Matamoros by gunmen believed to be linked to the Gulf Cartel.
Seven states are labeled as “reconsider travel” and 17 as “exercise increased caution.”
According to US authorities, only two states, Campeche and Yucatan, are reported to be safe to travel to.
However, the US has warned its citizens that violent crimes such as homicides, kidnappings, carjackings and robberies are “widespread and common in Mexico.”