Mexican journalist Joaquín López-Dóriga. Photo: Foro Banorte

By KELIN DILLON

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) drew criticism for laughing at a political cartoon depicting journalist Joaquín López-Dóriga during his daily press conference on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 22. 

AMLO’s mockery of López-Dóriga, one of Mexico’s most renown journalists, came after the president announced he would be postponing his tour of Mexico City’s neighborhoods to prevent drawing crowds mid-coronavirus pandemic.

“We don’t want to give the conservatives and the fifí press a reason to question us,” said López Obrador.

He used the opportunity to segue into mocking the “fifí” López-Dóriga, a term the president has regularly used to refer to his well-to-do opponents both in politics and the media. 

López Obrador had the cartoon, drawn by José Hernández, projected onto the screen during his press conference.

The drawing depicted López-Dóriga holding a banner saying “AMLO, malote, give me back the chayote,” (chayote is a Mexican slang term for payola money given to some press) a phrase that the Mexican president chanted in mockery as the cartoon appeared on screen.

“This is not an insult,” said López Obrador afterwards. “But there is freedom both from questioning criticism and for the exercise of reply. Long live freedom!”

The Mexican president’s mockery gained attention on social media platforms, as “López Dóriga” and “#AmloMaloteRegresameElChayote” trended for hours on Twitter after the president’s press conference had ended.

López-Dóriga used Twitter to fire back against the president, tweeting a picture of AMLO with Hernández and several other cartoonists, implying they are friends of the president and push López Obrador’s agenda through their work. 

“They will not bend or silence me,” said López-Dóriga. “I will continue.”

Hernández later clarified that his drawing of López-Dóriga was not a political cartoon, but a drawing from a series he did previously this year for Proceso magazine.

…Dec. 24, 2020

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