Mexico’s new president set to pivot away from drug war, but Trump may stand in the way

Mexico’s newly elected president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (aka ‘AMLO’), has some bold new ideas for bringing Mexico’s spiralling violence under control. Recently, he proposed refunnelling US aid earmarked for state security forces into more benign projects. But his proposals might result in a rocky relationship with his country’s northern neighbor.

From quiet to chaotic

Beginning in the early 2000s, Mexico went from a relatively peaceful Latin American country to being one of the most violent places in the world. A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies found that Mexico’s homicide rate in 2016 exceeded that of all but one of the countries officially considered to be in a situation of armed conflict. And things have only got worse since then. 2017 was Mexico’s deadliest year on record; and 2018 is already surpassing that, with May 2018 recorded as the bloodiest month in the country’s entire history.

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