(Mexico City) Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that his country was “safer” than the United States, despite the recent kidnapping of four American nationals, two of whom died in captivity.

“Mexico is safer than the United States and there is no problem with safe travel to Mexico,” Mr. Lopez Obrador said in his daily press conference.

The leftist leader made the comparison when asked about Washington’s warnings to Americans to avoid travel or take extra precautions in 30 of Mexico’s 32 states.

“Why this paranoia? the president said, taking the opportunity to once again reject the view of members of the US Congress that the US military should step in to fight drug traffickers wherever they are.

“This is a campaign against Mexico by conservative politicians in the United States,” criticized Mr. Lopez Obrador, who last week called these parliamentarians “creepy” and accused them of engaging in “political” maneuvers in the run-up to the 2024 US presidential elections.

The Mexican head of state received a group of members of the United States Congress and the United States Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, on Monday to explain his efforts against the trafficking of fentanyl, a synthetic drug 50 times more powerful than heroin, and to address bilateral trade disputes.

It has not yet been specified which parliamentarians were part of the delegation or to which party they belong.

“We are partners…forever. Sometimes there are problems, disagreements, but we know we are united,” Salazar told reporters after the meeting.

During the meeting, the head of state explained the “work done by Mexico, especially with regard to fentanyl”, reported Roberto Velasco, representative of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On March 3, four Americans were kidnapped by suspected drug traffickers in the border town of Matamoros in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

Of the four Americans abducted, two were killed and both were later found, one with gunshot wounds and the other unharmed, on the outskirts of Matamoros. A Mexican bystander was also killed in the exchange of fire.