Jorge Ramos
Mexican journalist Jorge Ramos, Univision top anchorman, questions AMLO crime figures Presidencia

Mexico's president and the most influential Hispanic journalist in the U.S. delivered a new edition of their year-long debate on an issue that has confronted them on several occasions: the number of people who have been murdered during the current administration.

"It's a real tragedy, Mr. President," said Jorge Ramos, Univision journalist, during the media conference held every morning by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Ramos addressed the official figure of the average number of people killed per day, which he stated as 81, and AMLO acknowledged.

"This worries Mexicans," Ramos said. "Many Mexicans don't feel safe."

Instead of addressing the figures, which Ramos said come from official Mexican government sources, AMLO preferred to focus on the health crisis triggered by the use of fentanyl by thousands of people in the United States.

"A real tragedy, with all due respect, and also very regrettable and sad, is what happens where you live, in the United States (...) A real tragedy is that 100,000 young people a year lose their lives to fentanyl," said AMLO.

"I don't doubt that tragedy," Ramos said. "But I want to talk about Mexico, where we are now."

"If we talk about this (Mexico's murder rate), we cannot call this a tragedy, the other issue (U.S. fentanyl deaths)... that is a serious matter," AMLO said.

In turn, Ramos attempted to steer the debate back to Mexico's crime issues.

"You know, Mr. President, how Mexicans are living with so much insecurity. It seems as if you do not want to accept the reality of so much violence in the country..." Ramos said.

An incensed AMLO quickly fired back, reiterating his belief that all criticism against him comes from those who oppose his political project:

"No, no, no, no... that is your vision, and it is the vision of our opponents, and I respect it," AMLO said.

To which Ramos retorted: "But you are not going to tell me that Mexico is a peaceful country... Mexico is a very violent country."

"No. Mexico is a peaceful country," AMLO said.

"With 166,000 people killed in five years?," Ramos asked.

"It is a peaceful country with growth, employment, and welfare. In fact, 500,000 Americans have come to live in Mexico City," López Obrador said citing a figure much used recently regarding U.S. expats and digital nomads flooding the country's capital.

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