Mexican president sticks to no-war approach after shocking cartel video

MEXICO CITY: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday (Jul 20) he would maintain a less confrontational approach to battling drug gangs even after one of Mexico's most powerful cartels showcased its firepower in a video that stunned Mexicans.

A video purportedly shot by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), showing dozens of armed gang members in bullet proof vests in front of armoured cars painted in military-style camouflage, went viral on social media on Friday.

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Lopez Obrador said he would not repeat the mistakes of previous administrations that failed to contain cartel violence, which surged after former President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led crackdown on the gangs in late 2006.

"Violence cannot be confronted with violence, fire cannot be extinguished with fire, evil cannot be confronted with evil," he said. "Evil must be confronted with good."

Lopez Obrador said his government would face down gangs with intelligence rather than force, focusing on poverty and other root causes of crime.

"We are not going to declare war," he said.

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