Mexican cartel violence hits bloody low with ‘hugs, not bullets’

López Obrador’s handling of the coronavirus has made ordinary people’s lives worse, economists say.

The pandemic has pushed 3.8 million people into poverty and 44 percent of Mexicans are now in need, a 4 percent increase since pre-Covid-19.

Mexico is the only major Latin American economy whose output will still be below pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year, according to JP Morgan estimates.

The result is that citizens are leaving en masse.

Migration to America from Mexico declined between 2009 and 2019, with more Mexicans leaving the United States than arriving, but when the pandemic hit, that changed.

The number of Mexicans detained in the United States increased by 50 percent between 2019 and 2020 to nearly 255,000. 379,000 Mexicans have already been detained this year, according to US Customs and Border Protection figures.

Last week, some 53 people died in the trunk of a truckload of illegal immigrants near San Antonio. At least 22 of them were Mexican.

‘It is attractive to work in the US’

During a press conference in the large Palacio Nacional, near the main square of the capital Zócalo, which was featured in the James Bond film Spectre, The Telegraph asked Mr López Obrador why so many people had lost faith in his economic policies and decided to leave the country.

“It’s attractive to work in the US, where the highest salaries are,” he said. “The salaries in the US can be ten times the average salary in Mexico.”

But America did not “accept the reality” that it had a huge labor shortage and that it should allow Mexican workers to enter the country on temporary work visas, he added.

“Are we going to continue like this or are we going to create order in the migration flow? Why no work visas? Why are we endangering people?” he asked.

It is a point he will make against Mr Biden.

“What they need to do is allow workers to enter the US in an orderly manner. I’m going to try to convince them.”

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