Spanish – Criticizing the president of Mexico has serious consequences. “The entire Sinaloa Cartel is with Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” a supposed legislator said in a telephone call, threatening to “blow up” the Reforma newspaper building “if it doesn’t rectify” its articles against the president. On the same call, the man also said that “there are only a few days left.”
Mexico has the highest rate of coronavirus deaths in the Spanish-speaking Americas. Reforma published a critique of the president’s discursive approach, which went from “no big deal” to a national emergency.
The man who threatened to attack the newspaper was identified as “Federal Deputy of Lozoya.” Reforma detected that the call was made from a telephone in Mexicali, Baja California, an entity governed by Moreno native Jaime Bonilla. The supposed legislator asked to send a message to the editor-in-chief:
“Tell him not to slander the President of the Republic, not to betray the homeland, because otherwise, we will blow up the offices of his damn newspaper.”
The government’s complicity with the Sinaloa Cartel
The Sinaloa Cartel was operated by none other than Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a prisoner in the United States. In October of last year, Mexican federal forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán, son of “El Chapo,” in Sinaloa according to government orders, but hours later, he was released.
“The decision was to withdraw from the house, without Guzman, to try to avoid more violence in the area and to preserve the lives of our personnel and restore peace in the city,” said the Secretary of Public Safety and Protection.
The newspaper Reforma, besides criticizing López Obrador’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, for which it was threatened, published an image showing López Obrador greeting the mother of “El Chapo” during a tour of Badiraguato, Sinaloa, on March 29.
Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists outside war zones
The threats to Reforma are a reflection of a greater reality: Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists outside war zones, according to Reporters Without Borders. The only two countries that are more dangerous are Syria and Afghanistan.
Since López Obrador took office, 15 journalists have been killed, 10 in 2019 alone. Their deaths occurred during the most violent year in Mexico’s history, the first year of AMLO’s six-year term.
Mexico is also the most dangerous country to participate in politics. On average, one mayor is killed every week. The main cause of the violence is the territorial dispute among drug cartels. They eliminate anyone who gets in their way. However, López Obrador claims that the violence is due to the country’s “neoliberal” past. Although he was a member of the PRI, which governed Mexico for three-quarters of a century, it is under his administration that violence has increased most.
Allegiance to PRI
In fact, the threat against Reforma included the statement, “we are PRIists.” “Just tell them what I told you: it’s the last time they’ll publish anything about him (AMLO). Because we are PRIists,” he warned the telephone operator that if he did not convey the message, “we will go and read you the primer.”
Although AMLO campaigned claiming to be different from the party that had governed the country for more than 70 years, he was affiliated with the PRI until 1989 -something that his presidential rival Ricardo Anaya of the PAN reproached him for, and claimed that López Obrador entered the PRI “because that’s where the power was,” and that the current president ignored the massacre of students in 1968 and that of Corpus Christi in 1971 under the PRI.
Díaz Ordaz, Secretary of the Interior for Enrique Peña Nieto, replied that the left, center, and right are relative and interchangeable since in Mexico, “left means capacity to achieve social justice.”
Moreover, the party that governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, and again under Enrique Peña Nieto, is a member of the Socialist International, as described on the official website.
Para que ya quede claro, AMLO era un priísta de consumado y a Cárdenas y Graco Ramírez les costó trabajo convencerlo para dejar al PRI. Si por él fuera, seguiría en ese partido. Tanto extraña al PRI que pone a esa gente por encima de sus bases.https://t.co/h0PMAekMfS pic.twitter.com/olmHZLDMhO
— Francisco J. Robles (@PacoJRobles) June 17, 2018
The truth is that Mexico suffered from violence for decades, and with AMLO, it has worsened. Moreover, the president has protected the criminal cartels through his speeches, saying that “the narco are people.”
The impunity has gone so far that the Sinaloa Cartel expressed its support for the president by warning the newspaper Reforma: “Your company uploaded a video denigrating, well, almost making fun of the President of the Republic. That is why we are making this call because you have now crossed the line.”