By KELIN DILLON
In a video published on Saturday, Aug. 21, former Mexican presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya claimed he was being persecuted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and noted he would be outside of Mexico for some time, though his present location still remains unknown.
Likewise, National Action Party (PAN) President Marko Cortés claimed he recently spoke to Anaya on the phone that very same day, providing further information about the former candidate’s situation.
“Today I had contact by telephone with Ricardo Anaya, and, as he himself has said, he has already taken the pertinent measures to be able to defend himself, defend his good reputation and the right to freedom of expression and to dissent that we and all Mexicans are entitled to,” said Cortés.
Anaya, who represented the PAN in the 2018 election against AMLO, has been accused of corruption by López Obrador and Mexico’s Prosecutor’s Office after former director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Emilio Lozoya claimed Anaya had accepted bribes.
Meanwhile, in exchange for accusing a long list of AMLO’s foes of participation in criminal acts, Lozoya has managed to maintain his freedom.
“AMLO is clearly persecuting (Anaya) and seeking to put him in jail,” said Cortés. “Is that democracy? Where you cannot disagree with the current government? Isn’t political dissent allowed any more?”
In the meantime, López Obrador has taken to social media to comment on the situation, saying if Anaya “is innocent, let him not take refuge or flee.”
Many think Anaya has sought refuge outside of Mexico in Atlanta, Georgia, as he owns property in that U.S. state.