National: AMLO’s Declarations “Authorization and Instigation to Carry out any Attack or Harassment against Journalists”

AMLO.png@Gobierno de Mexico

On April 15th, the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 condemned the statements of the same day of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) who, in his morning conference, suggested that reporters should be “prudent” because otherwise “they know what happens.”

“The message that the President is giving is an authorization and an instigation to carry out any attack or harassment against journalists,” said Sebastian Salamanca, Articulo 19 journalist defense program official. He questioned if with these last statements AMLO is saying how journalists “must act” and suggesting that “they will receive the punishment of the people” if they do not behave properly. “Any follower of Lopez Obrador will interpret these words as tolerance to continue attacking journalists who are critical,” he said.

Just at the morning conference on April 12th, Univision journalist Jorge Ramos contradicted the figures of violence in Mexico offered by Lopez Obrador, a participation that was harshly criticized on social networks by Lopez Obrador’s followers and even by journalists from media close to the president.

Shortly before there was another controversy after AMLO asked the newspaper Reforma to reveal the source that leaked the draft of the letter sent by the Mexican government to King Felipe VI of Spain demanding an apology for the conquest.

Articulo 19 regretted that Lopez Obrador’s most recent statements “add up to a series of attacks” carried out by the President, who on more than one occasion has labeled some critical media as “conservatives” and “fifí [opposition] press”, This is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice journalism, according to Reporters Without Borders.

For his part, Jorge Ramos in an article published by the New York Times stressed that “the power-press relationship will always be fraught with tension. But in a democracy under construction like the Mexican one it is fundamental to discuss, defer and dialogue; do not disqualify. The challenge is to continue living together, even if sometimes we do not agree.”

For more information in Spanish:

El mensaje que da AMLO es una autorización para hostigar a periodistas, alerta Artículo 19 (Sin Embargo, 15 de abril de 2019)

“Si ustedes se pasan, pues ya saben lo que sucede”, dice AMLO a los periodistas (ADN Político, 15 de abril de 2019)

Declaraciones de AMLO alientan ataques a periodistas: Artículo 19 (SDP Noticias, 16 de abril de 2019)

El presidente no es el jefe de los periodistas (NY Times, 16 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11th, 2019)

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

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