López Obrador, on the students murdered in Celaya: “It had to do with drug consumption”

The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, referred this Wednesday to the case of the six young people murdered in Guanajuato this weekend, when they were returning from a party in the neighboring state of Querétaro. “It had to do with drug use,” the president said. “These guys who murdered went to buy from someone who was selling drugs in a territory that belonged to another gang,” he added. The problem, judging by what he has raised, is not so much the rampant violence in large regions of the country, in the case of Guanajuato, but rather the drugs themselves.

“Young students, including medicine students,” said the president, apparently surprised by the boys’ affiliation, “they went to a party and on their way back they went, I think… to Villagrán. And somewhere in this… This is still hypothetical, but they went to some place supposedly to acquire drugs and there they were murdered. We have to look at that in depth and also at what it was like,” added the president, who immediately pointed out the addiction problems that exist in Guanajuato, linking the massacre with substance abuse.

López Obrador has developed his argument. “There is no drug consumption in Oaxaca, there is no drug consumption in Chiapas. There is even consumption, but it is not a problem. There is no consumption in Yucatán, Campeche. But even in Sinaloa, in Jalisco, there is no such drug consumption. “It’s traffic,” the president said. “The problem in Guanajuato is that, for reasons that must continue to be analyzed, consumption among young people grew. And notice that we are not talking about all of Guanajuato, but about the industrial corridor,” he added.

The words of the president are surprising, as he has left aside the security crisis that has gripped the country for a decade and a half, one of the great stains of his Government, a year before it ends. The problem, López Obrador seemed to say, is that the boys went to buy drugs, not that there are criminal groups that see in that action a reason to kill them. The blame thus falls on the victims, a scheme that his predecessors used with some assiduity. In the face of bullets to the head, bodies treated as waste, the focus must be on addictions.

That is not all. López Obrador has spoken quite naturally that the boys bought drugs in the territory that “belonged to another gang.” Thus, the president accepted as true a problem denounced a thousand times these years, that the State does not manage, due to laziness or inability, to protect its inhabitants in many regions of the country. What are the authorities supposed to have done these years against the gang to which this territory “belonged,” where the students supposedly bought that drug and where they were murdered? The president has not addressed this issue.

Nobody has, really. The massacre ends for the moment with the typical sentences of the high state officials, announcing that the weight of the law will fall on the murderers. This is how the governor of Guanajuato, PAN member Diego Sinhué, expressed himself this Monday. Meanwhile, hundreds of companions of those murdered have demonstrated this Monday and also today, Tuesday, demanding justice from the authorities. One of Monday’s proclamations pointed precisely to the criminalization of the boys: “They were not narcojuniors“They were students.”

Mexico does not count murders, it counts massacres, perpetrated regardless of geographical variables or substance consumption. Massacres are perpetrated in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Michoacán, among many other states. The problem transcends drug use and rather points to the dynamics of the retail market. It also happens that local drug sales markets intersect with the control that criminal groups exercise or try to exercise in other industries, legal or illegal. Namely, extortion of traders and merchants, mining, cutting down trees, etc.

But López Obrador only wanted to talk about addictions, a problem in Guanajuato, a state in the hands of the opposition. The president added: “With everything that can be said about Zacatecas or Michoacán, or Jalisco, it is not the same, because they do not have the consumption that there is in Guanajuato. We no longer talk about Querétaro, there is no consumption. Yes there is, but minimal. How many lose their lives in Mexico due to overdose? Very few, for the 100,000 who lose their lives in the United States,” he concluded.

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