By RICARDO CASTILLO
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has called on his opponents to agree to a political “truce” in order to abate an anti-AMLO tidal wave of fake and not-so-fake news that has recently been unleashed on Twitter and which AMLO claims is being fed by troll farms.
As an example, AMLO pointed to one tweet out that was launched by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, AMLO’s favorite drunken villain, in which Calderón claimed that while inspecting a road construction in the Badiraguato municipality of Sinaloa on Sunday, March 29. AMLO had lunch with and was accompanied by the older brother of drug kingpin and definitely Badiraguato boss Joaquín Guzmán Loera, popularly known as El Chapo. In the photo published by Calderón, a man behind AMLO was crayoned out as El Chapo’s brother, Aureliano Guzmán Loera, aka El Guano. The man in question happened to be Édgar Heriberto Covarrubias Mercado, a Mexican Social Security Institute doctor appointed for the day to shadow the president in case of an emergency.
Calderón immediately apologized for publishing “false information,” and it was then, on the morning of Tuesday, March 31, that AMLO accepted Calderón’s apology and called upon all of his critics to observe a one-month truce in order for the entire government, and especially AMLO, to be able to concentrate on the nation riding out the coronavirus crisis.
In the meantime, the president would do well to follow his own government’s advice that the best way to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is by staying at home. That’s exactly what he should do.
The reason for ALMO to stay home is that part of the war against him on Twitter – whether from troll farms or really concerned citizens, we don’t know – broke out due to his visit to Badiraguato, infamous for being the home of the seemingly almighty Sinaloa Drug Cartel.
Again, as I wrote on Tuesday March 30 in my column on the subject, what the hell was AMLO doing in Badiraguato? Really, only harming himself.
Indeed, Calderón might have been wrong in calling a Social Security doctor El Chapo’s brother, but it only goes to show the war of lies Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala, are waging now against AMLO as they ready to run their newly formed political party, if approved in June.
But again, what was AMLO doing in Badiraguato, a place for drug traffickers and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spies and agents and home to massive opium crops?
Did he actually go only to say hello and shake hands – in times of coronavirus – to El Chapo’s mama?
Definitely, AMLO exposed too much of himself in exchange for nothing but bad publicity and to be the Twitter trending topic of the day.
But there’s a lot more in the short video showing AMLO shaking hands with Doña María Consuelo Loera than meets the naked and untrained eye. In case you didn’t see the video, behind AMLO – and not far away, like the “brother” invented by Calderón – there is a man with a hat on who taps AMLO on the back and then, after the handshake, keeps the president company and touches him again on the back much to the apparent chagrin of security personnel in charge of the president’s physical integrity. But AMLO seemed extremely familiar with the man, so security did not try to stop him further.
The man with the hat on behind AMLO is not an unknown figure in Mexican politics. He has been identified as lawyer José Luis González Meza, best known by the nickname of El Marciano (The Martian) and a native of Ciudad Madero, near Tampico, in the state of Tamaulipas.
González Meza was very close to Oil Workers Union leader Joaquín Hernández, aka La Quina (keenah) (for his gusto for quinine tonic). In fact, El Marciano cowrote with La Quina a most scandalous book called “An Assassin in Los Pinos” against former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. In 1989, Salinas de Gortari tossed La Quina in jail for a few years and González Meza simply disappeared from the political scene, until now.
González Meza has reappeared and he is currently the legal representative for the entire Guzmán Loera family, El Chapo’s sons included. Apparently, he was also the man who arranged for the meeting between El Chapo’s mother and AMLO.
Whether AMLO knew he was walking into the wolf’s den or not is a matter that is up of interpretation. In fact, a cartoonist for La Jornada, the only daily that openly defends the president, drew a cartoon showing AMLO dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and Doña María Consuelo, El Chapo’s 92-year-old mama, as the wolf shaking AMLO’s hand.
Furthermore, controversial and often big-mouthed intellectual and university professor Sergio Aguayo saw the gathering at Badiraguato as another truce, but this time between AMLO and the Sinaloa Drug Cartel.
Aguayo said in a radio interview that the federal government had “signaled” that it is allying with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, now led by El Chapo’s sons Ovidio and Ivan Archivaldo, in order to combat other drug cartels, such as the nefarious Santa Rosa de Lima in the state of Guanajuato, the Tepito Union in Mexico City.
Aguayo, who writes about drug cartels and their territorial domains, claimed that the different hints in this direction are the liberation of Ovidio Guzman last October (who was under arrest by the Army and ready to be flown in extradition to the United States for trial), the extradition of the son of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and now, the handshake by AMLO with the mama. It’s not hard evidence, but suggests that there was something fishy going on in Badiraguato last Sunday.
But for now, the only thing that AMLO has demanded as of the outcome of the meeting is for Calderón to apologize for his snafu in Twitter, which, by the way, Calderón not only has done but has offered AMLO his expertise gained from the 2009 AH1N1 pandemic in Mexico.