Mexico’s President Fighting to Free Jailed Guatemalan Guerrilla Fighter

Andres Manuel Obrador, the Mexican president, has sparked a new controversy in international circles by trying to free an ex-guerrilla leader from Guatemala who is currently serving 175 years for murder. The Guatemalan killed three soldiers searching for landing strips used by drug traffickers.

This week, Lopez Obrador announced that his government and he were negotiating with Guatemala to release Cesar Montes (83), a former guerilla who is regarded as a hero by leftist circles.

AMLO stated that “he is a person and a leader who is accused of certain crimes. He is in jail.” “He’s older, and we are looking at the possibility with Guatemala of a pardon. He could come to Mexico and that we grant him asylum. We are considering that.”

According to El Pais, Montes’ real name is Julio Cesar Macias Lopez. He was a guerrilla leader during the Guatemalan Civil War. Montes was sentenced to 175 years in 2022 for ordering the murder of 3 soldiers. The soldiers were looking for secret landing strips that drug traffickers used in rural Guatemala. Euro24 reported that Montes fled Guatemala after the murder in 2019. He is now Guatemala’s most-wanted criminal.

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Zury Rios, former congresswoman and presidential candidate in Guatemala, responded to AMLO’s comments on social media with a strong response. She claimed that criminals are not hugged by Guatemalans. The statement mocks Lopez Obrador for his famous comment about his failed strategy to use a soft approach towards cartels, commonly known as “hugs and bullets”, in order to stop violence.