Feb. 26, 2019
Great Expectations and Grim Realities in AMLO’s Mexico
There is no single strategy that can quickly overcome the violence consuming many Mexican communities. Andrés Manuel López Obrador—known simply as AMLO—assumed Mexico’s presidency on Dec. 1, 2018, with a robust mandate. AMLO can no more save Mexico through massive social programs than President Enrique Nieto could by enacting sweeping economic reforms or President Felipe Calderón by deploying tens of thousands of federal forces. Mexico’s criminal groups have proven to be as complex as the country itself, with an uncanny ability to mutate and migrate. Change will come community by community, municipality by municipality, and state by state by initiating effective violence prevention programs, ensuring genuine transparency, strengthening civilian law enforcement, and building a justice system that is both efficient and fair. The United States should instead concentrate on the long-term task of helping Mexico strengthen law enforcement by sharing expertise to create a new generation of professional police, prosecutors, and judges.