Moody: Two presidents have a ‘Mexico first’ policy

(The Center Square) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody argues two presidents have “Mexico first” policies: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and U.S. President Joe Biden.

At a news conference in Polk County announcing the largest fentanyl seizure in county history, Moody chastised Biden and his administration for not holding the Mexican government accountable for the border crisis and fentanyl killing Americans. The Polk County fentanyl seizure was enough to kill one-third of Florida’s population, The Center Square reported.

The drug smugglers and traffickers were linked to the Sinaloa Cartel; the fentanyl was brought in through California, authorities said. California has become the epicenter for illegal border crossing and illicit drug smuggling, The Center Square first reported.

In response to the policy decisions and statements made by Obrador and Biden, Moody said, “Now we have two presidents that are Mexico first.”

Obrador, who is running for reelection, has argued that the U.S. “drug problem” is not Mexico’s problem.

“We are not going to act as policemen for any foreign government. Mexico First. Our home comes first,” Obrador said in March, according to The Associated Press.

The Biden administration maintains that the U.S. has a “great partnership with Mexico.”

Several Republican congressional reports have identified Mexican cartels as facilitating the U.S. illicit fentanyl crisis by working with the Chinese Communist Party to wage nonconventional warfare against the U.S., The Center Square reported. Congress has failed to hold accountable the Biden and Obrador administrations for the fentanyl and border crises, critics argue.

Several news reports refute Obrador’s claim that crime is going down in Mexico and isn’t a problem. Lime growers are paying drug cartel protection payments and “receiving threats at levels not seen since 2013,” methamphetamines seizures increased in Mexico to a record 230 tons in the first eight months of 2023, Mexico’s government statistics agency is paying gangs to enter towns to perform census work, and cartel violence is erupting to levels Mexico “hadn’t seen since the darkest days of the 2006-2012 drug war,” The Associated Press has reported.

Several news outlets have also reported that law enforcement officers and Mexican soldiers are being targeted by cartels with car and roadside bombs and drones dropping bombs.

Since Obrador took office in 2018, “gangs affiliated with Mexico’s two largest drug cartels – battling to the death over market share – have grown in number and influence,” the Wall Street Journal reported. After replacing the federal police with a new “national guard,” arrests of cartel operatives dropped from 21,700 in 2018 before he was in office to 2,800 in 2022 under his direction, according to Mexico’s national statistics agency, the Journal reported.

City mayors were also threatened to appoint gang members to local treasury offices, effectively giving “cartels control over contracts for municipal construction, procurement and other public services;” murders of government officials, candidates and political party members also increased from 94 in 2018 before Obrador was in office to 355 in 2023 under his leadership, the Journal reported.

Moody said the Biden administration’s response to Obrador’s policies “is a full display of cowardice.”

“A real leader … that was concerned with the number one death of American citizens by far,” referring to the fentanyl crisis, she said, would do what “I have demanded and suggested: declare the cartels terrorist organizations and designate fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.”

In mid-2022, Moody was the first attorney general to call on the Biden administration to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations and fentanyl as a WMD, also leading a coalition of 17 attorneys general making the same call, The Center Square reported. She also joined a coalition of 21 AGs calling on the administration to designate the cartels as FTOs. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature designated cartels as FTOs last year. Abbott also called on the president to designate fentanyl as a WMD.

“Any leader in their right mind,” Moody said would “meet that deadly challenge with the appropriate response.” Instead, state and local law enforcement agencies are dealing with an “overwhelming surge of fentanyl, the deadliest drug that we have seen flowing into our country at this magnitude … because our president will not do what he took an oath to do and stand up for the safety of this union.

“As long as the border is wide open, we will continue to see those that crossed over illegally pouring deadly drugs into our state.”