During the administration of President Andres Manuel López Obrador, Mexico has struggled with historically high levels of homicides. On September 22, 2022 during a morning press conference López Obrador faced off with journalist Jorge Ramos over his government’s track record of dealing with violence. Ramos held up a placard showing that AMLO’s government has overseen more murders than any other administration in modern Mexican history. López Obrador chose to deny and deflect. “I don’t agree with you,” he countered. López Obrador continues to remind voters about the violence Mexico experienced during the presidency of Felipe Calderon (2006-2012.) He does not mention, however, that his own government has overseen a significantly higher level of violence. According to data from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the country recorded 42,676 murders during the first three years of Calderon’s government, a time when Mexico was considered to be “at war” with its drug cartels. Under López Obrador, the government has promoted the slogan “hugs not bullets” and also embraced a massive expansion of Calderon’s militarized security strategy. What has not disappeared, however, is the violence. Mexico has recorded 109,059 murders between 2019 and the end of 2021, during the first half of López Obrador’s sexenio. In order to discuss the issue of violent crime in Mexico, I reached out to Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.