If Mexican leader is so strong, why can't he do something about the criminal insurgency by the drug cartels?

Washington Post:

A strong leader emerges in Mexico. Some say he’s too strong.

In his first year as president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador has won the loyalty of the poor, and his approval ratings regularly top 60 percent. But critics are concerned the veteran leftist is concentrating power and weakening institutions that safeguard human rights and clean elections.
Mexico is not a safe country for its citizens or visitors.  I grew up on the border when it was safe to go across the river for dinner.  It would be a risky business today.  It is even risky to go to resorts. Too many of the Mexican law enforcement agencies have been compromised by corruption.  The Mexican Marines appear to be one of the few that have not been corrupted by the cartels.  If AMLO is doing anything about the situation it is not obvious.

AMLO has entered into a new trade deal with Trump but the Democrats would rather stall that then approve something that would benefit both countries.

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