By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
One day after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his concerns about the high incidence of murders of journalists in Mexico (with at least five reporters killed so far this year) and called on the Mexican government to provide “greater accountability” in the investigations of these cases, as well as better protection of reporters, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) snapped back on Wednesday, Feb. 23, calling the U.S. official “misinformed” and telling him to butt out on the matter.
Claiming that Blinken has been “duped” by his sources, which have led to him try to “interfere” in internal Mexican affairs, AMLO, speaking during his daily press conference at the National Place, said that although the murders of journalists in Mexico is “unfortunate,” thorough investigations are underway in each case.
“There is no impunity in Mexico,” AMLO said. “These are not crimes committed by the state. And the head of the U.S. State Department is trying to intervene because I think he is not well informed about this situation.”
López Obrador went on to request Blinken to “better inform yourself” and not try to interfere in the matter “because Mexico is not a colony of the United States, nor is it a protectorate; Mexico is a free, independent, sovereign country.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Blinken echoed growing bipartisan concerns of members of the Senate who have denounced the spiraling surge of violence affecting the Mexican press.
In what constituted the first statement by a member of U.S. President Joe Biden’s cabinet on the subject, Blinken likewise called on the AMLO administration to provide more protection for Mexican journalists.
“The high number of journalists killed in Mexico this year and the continuing threats they face are worrisome” Blinken said in a message on his personal Twitter account.
“I join those calling for greater accountability and protection for Mexican journalists. My heart goes out to the loved ones of those who gave their lives for the truth.”
In addition to calling Blinken misinformed and accusing him of meddling in Mexican internal affairs, AMLO on Wednesday called on the Biden administration “to provide an explanation as to why the United States finances my adversaries,” referring to his repeated claims that independent Mexican thinktanks and civil organizations that have opposed him are being funded by the U.S. government.
“I an sure that Blinken must be misinformed because, otherwise, he would be acting in bad faith,” AMLO said.
“There are strong ties between conservative groups in Mexico and the United States government. Consequently, I would like Blinken to tell me why the United States is financing a group of opponents to a legal, legitimate government,” López Obrador said, adding that he had already instructed Foreign Relations (SRE) Secretary Marcelo Ebrard to send Blinken a report on the actions that the Mexican government has taken regarding the cases of the murdered journalists.