After an advisor to Ukrainian President Volidímir Zelenski, Mykhailo Podolyak, issued a statement labeling Mexico’s proposed peace plan in the UN as a ‘Russian Plan‘, President of Mexico, López Obrador, said that the peace plan is now being distorted.
“They invent or give the wrong information, they reproduce things that are not true,” he said Monday morning without explaining what information was being distorted. The president pulled from his regular bag of excuses by blaming the dust-up on the opposition party.
López Obrador expressed his confidence that his plan will obtain general support at the meeting organized by the United Nations. “It suits everyone,” he said.
He announced that the permanent representative of Mexico to the UN, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard have worked to disseminate it prior to its presentation in the assembly.
Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky and lead negotiator in peace talks, reacted to the plan proposed by the President of Mexico to stop the war in Ukraine.
“The ‘peacemakers’ who use the war as a theme for their own public relations cause only surprise. @lopezobrador_ is your plan to keep millions under occupation, increase the number of mass burials and give Russia time to renew reserves before the next offensive? So their ‘plan’ is a Russian plan,” the Ukrainian official said on his Twitter account.
Mexico’s interest in peace for Ukraine has arrived at a time when Ukraine has been launching a successful counteroffensive against Russia. Mykhailo Podolyak believes Mexico’s call for peace for five years is a plan to allow Russia to regroup for another invasion of the country in five years.
This isn’t the first time Mexico has faced backlash for the perception of supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine
Mexico’s president insists that the country remains neutral in Russia’s invasion of a sovereign nation, but the actions of Mexico’s government squarely puts Mexico’s support behind Russia.
After President Andrés Manuel López Obrador refused to support the people of Ukraine by sending weapons and military equipment to fight the Russian army, the Ambassador of Ukraine, Oksana Dramarétska, once again asked the Mexican government to break the diplomatic and commercial relations with the Kremlin. To date, Mexico has only vocally supported Ukraine and has stated they will continue diplomatic and trade relations with Russia.
During a meeting, the Ukrainian diplomat thanked the solidarity of Mexicans in the face of the Russian invasion, as well as the votes of support of the government before the United Nations Organization (UN); however, she considered it unacceptable that there are those who continue their relations with a country that she described as oppressive.
“We hope that Mexico joins the actions of the international community, such as economic sanctions, isolation, and exclusion of Russia from all possible forums. I would like to be able to convey to my government that, on these issues, we can count on the support of Mexican legislators […] We consider it unacceptable to maintain relations with an aggressor regime that openly attacks a neighboring country without cause, motive, or prior notice.”
President López Obrador argues that Mexico does not send weapons anywhere because “we are pacifists” and that the support will only be “humanitarian”, in response, Dramarétska released a forceful statement:
“We understand the ‘non-intervention’ position of the Mexican government. But as the saying goes: tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are.”
With a broken voice, the ambassador told legislators from the PAN, PRI, PRD, and MC political parties, that Russian troops have invaded and bombed several cities in her country, which has left more than 1,300 civilians dead and has caused more than 2 million people to leave Ukraine.
However, she assured that her country will not accept any ultimatum from the Vladimir Putin regime.
Her speech received a standing ovation from lawmakers across all party lines.
Dramarétska took the opportunity to ask the Legislative Branch not to send the Mexican Air Force planes empty, but to send them with humanitarian aid and with Ukrainian men living in Mexico who want to go to Ukraine to fight for their country against the Russians.
“We need everything, all help is welcome. We need humanitarian aid is why I came here today. If not weapons, humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people.”
On March 9, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Marcelo Ebrard, reported on his Twitter account that the second plane of the Mexican Air Force (FAM) that would travel to Europe would carry 1.5 tons of mattresses and medicines for refugees in Romania.
Through social networks, the MC deputies, Salomón Chertorivski and Jorge Álvarez Máynez, thanked Dramarétska for her visit and expressed their absolute support for her.
On March 2, the chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, said he is not surprised that the Mexican government is against imposing sanctions on Russia.
“I am not surprised that President (Andrés Manuel) López Obrador takes that position. I think that is the wrong position. I do not think that Mexico would like the world to remain isolated if another country was invading Mexico, I would like the international community to be sanctioning that country that is invading,” he said.
“So to stand aside, to stand on your own, when the rest of the world is acting, is to ally yourself with the oppressor. I see that Mexico is taking the side of the oppressor that is Russia and Putin ”, concluded Menendez.
Mexico’s show of support for Russia has been clear
In March, less than a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mexico’s Senate created the ‘Russian Friendship Committee” with the purpose of spreading Russian propaganda at the highest levels of the Mexican government.
Congressman in Mexico, Armando Contreras Castillo said: “We are always ready to do everything we can to increase the friendship, relations, and cooperation between Mexico and Russia in every aspect of the world and life.”
“We reaffirm our moral and political support for the difficult decision that forced the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin to engage in the legitimate defense of his people and, seeking to avoid a larger military conflict and preserve world peace, militarily intervene in Ukrainian territory to weaken the neo-Nazi, coup-lead forces,” the Morena Youth of Mexico State group wrote in the letter, young representatives of the current president’s political party in Mexico.
Later in March, Mexico’s president announced that the country is ‘pacifist’ and therefore would not send weapons in support of Ukraine and it would not participate in sanctions against Russia.
“We are not going to take any economic retaliation because we want to maintain good relations,” the president announced on March 1, 2022.
In April, Mexico sustained from a UN vote to have Russia removed from the UN Human Rights Council in response to evidence of war crimes and violations of human rights that the council is designed to uphold.
Mexico’s ‘Hugs, not bullets’ strategy against cartels has failed, it will fail in Ukraine too
In the four years that have elapsed since the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico has lost almost half of its intelligence capabilities to investigate and dismantle the country’s extensive criminal networks, leaving criminals with impunity,
In entities such as Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, and Sinaloa, among others, executions in broad daylight have become commonplace, and more and more criminals show off their firepower and impunity without the authorities being able to prevent attacks in public spaces. The normal the normal response of officials is to appear after the cartel violence and limit themselves to monitoring crime scenes while the relatives mourn for the victims.
López Obrador assured at the beginning of his term that his security strategy called “hugs, not bullets” would be supported by economic support to communities to combat poverty to prevent young people from joining the ranks of criminal groups, and stressed that dissolving the Federal Police to create a National Guard would allow the creation of an “incorruptible” security body.
So far, the National Guard has not delivered the security results promised by the president. According to an American official who spoke to The New York Times, the dissolution of the Federal Police led to the fact that the investigative force against crime in Mexico was reduced by almost half overnight, since the defunct PF had about 10,000 researchers while the GN has only a few hundred.
The Times elaborated in its article that many officials and analysts consider that the bloodshed and continuous violence is a sign that a government is losing control of the country, even though the president and his security cabinet affirmed, in August, that the results of the security strategy called “hugs, not bullets” are positive and the rate of intentional homicides is going down.
The federal strategy of avoiding a direct confrontation with criminal groups was implemented at the beginning of the six-year term of the President and analysts agree that the most obvious result is that security intelligence has been destroyed and until now the “hugs, not bullets” approach has not managed to suffocate the carnage in which many states of the country live immersed.
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