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Mexican president claims that criminal groups are ‘respectful’ and ‘respect the citizenry’

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president says the country’s violent criminal gangs and drug cartels are essentially “respectful people” who “respect the citizenry” and mostly just kill each other. The claims by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are at odds with the reality of millions of Mexicans who live in areas dominated by drug cartels. The cartels routinely demand protection payments from local residents and kill or kidnap them if they refuse to pay. López Obrador has long refused to directly confront the cartels, who he claims were forced into criminality by a lack of opportunities. He has also appeared to normalize the gangs’ presence, encouraging Mexicans to negotiate peace pacts among the cartels.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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