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President Of Mexico Fights Back Against New York Times Slander

Above photo: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (left) and the New York Times headquarters (right). RedRadiove.

Says Imperialist Media Outlets ‘Consider Themselves A Divine Race.’

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, criticized the US news outlet The New York Times (NYT) and stressed that journalists of NYT and other imperialist media outlets consider themselves “a divine race” that cannot be touched, “not even with a rose petal,” despite the fact that they spread slander with impunity.

“You, with all due respect, do partisan journalism, because you are biased in favor of groups with vested interests, you are too close to de facto political and economic power,” AMLO said on Friday, February 23, during a tense exchange with Jesica Zermeño, journalist of Univision, during the president’s usual morning press conference.

The reporter asked AMLO why he had disclosed the phone number of Natalie Kitroeff, head of the NYT bureau in Mexico, since it violates the Data Protection Law, and puts her life at risk because Mexico is a dangerous country for journalists.

However, President López Obrador defended his actions and added that he will continue to disclose private information of other journalists when circumstances oblige him, because during his administration “public life is more public.”

He also accused the Univision network, NYT, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and the Mexican outlet Reforma of being “the favorites” of conservative governments, and of never admitting their own mistakes.

“You are not capable of self-criticism to review your journalism, if what you do can be called journalism,” the president said. “You feel you are embroidered by hand, like a divine, privileged race. You can spread slander with impunity as you have done with us, as it was done yesterday [by NYT]. You all cannot even be touched with a rose petal. What happens when this journalist [Kitroeff] is slandering me, linking me and my family with drug trafficking, without evidence?”

Zermeño insisted and asked López Obrador if he did not think it had been a mistake to disclose Kitroeff’s telephone number.

“No, because this is a public space,” the president responded. “Nothing happens that is just another piece of information. You are the most tenacious liars, the most tenacious manipulators. What you say about there being a great risk for journalists is an association linked to vested interests of hegemonic governments. Of course, unfortunately there are comrades who have lost their lives, but we do not tolerate impunity. The Mexican State is not a violator of human rights.”

“Above that Law [of Personal Data Protection] there is moral and political authority. We represent a people who deserve respect. We are not criminals. Nobody should believe that because it is The New York Times we are going to sit in the dock,” AMLO said to Zermeño’s evident surprise.

“Do not exaggerate, if the colleague [Kitroeff] is worried because her phone number was made public, she can change her phone number,” he recommended.

“You people are very arrogant, what you did was very offensive. Who is going to repair the damage done to me?” he continued. “Who is going to repair the damage done to my children? When they search their names, it will come out that López Obrador’s children were investigated for receiving money from drug trafficking gangs. You do not see that damage. If you slander me, here there is a response.”

What happened the day before

On Thursday, AMLO revealed that NYT Mexico bureau chief Natalie Kritoeff had sent him a “threatening” email, asking him to respond to a number of questions regarding a story in which NYT reported, without showing evidence, that the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had investigated alleged drug trafficking links with López Obrador’s presidential campaign in 2018. The investigation allegedly even involved the president’s children. However, the DEA decided to close the investigation so as not to generate “bilateral conflict.”

“All of that is false, completely false,” López Obrador said on Thursday before the publication of the article. However, that generated a scandal because the president released the journalist’s private phone number.

Later, the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) of Mexico announced the initiation of an ex-officio investigation against the president to establish whether he had violated the principles and duties established in the General Law for the Protection of Personal Data.

After the NYT published the report, the spokesman for the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, denied any US government investigation against AMLO’s 2018 presidential campaign for alleged links to drug trafficking.

“The Department of Justice has already made it clear, there is no investigation against President López Obrador. The Department of Justice would have had the responsibility to review any allegations,” Kirby said at a press conference.


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