Home Feature López Obrador fears the intellectuals of his country, assures ‘The Economist’

López Obrador fears the intellectuals of his country, assures ‘The Economist’

by Yucatan Times
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The Economist pointed out in an article that President López Obrador is afraid of his country’s scholars.

MEXICO CITY (Times Media Mexico) – The Economist newspaper published that the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, fears his country’s intellectuals, after “attacking two small monthly magazines, Nexos and Letras Libres.”

In the article entitled “AMLO’s war against the intelligentsia,” the conference on September 21 is mentioned, where the president called the directors of those two magazines “heads of the intelligentsia throughout the neoliberal period.”

“He hinted that they acted as contract propagandists for the governments of their predecessors,” the magazine wrote.

He recalled that Mexico’s president also said that Héctor Aguilar Camín and Enrique Krauze “belong to the conservative group that would like to maintain the same regime of corruption, injustice, and privilege.”

However, the British magazine indicated that these attacks “appear to be an attempt to silence critical voices in the Mexican media by a populist president who has already hampered previously independent institutions such as the Supreme Court and regulatory agencies.” He added that, for that reason, many media companies in Mexico practice self-censorship.

The Economist noted that last month, the government fined Nexos magazine one million pesos and prohibited all state agencies from negotiating with it.

Given this, the historian Enrique Krauze said that “public lynching” is dangerous, “The presidential word is compelling in Mexico. You don’t know how people will interpret it if they continually point to someone as an enemy”, Krauze told the British magazine.

Distribution of official advertising is not equal to the media from the Presidency. The Economist mentioned that government support of the media through advertising dates back to the 1920s.

However, the distribution is not even, because, during their first year in office, the two prominent television companies received 700 million pesos in advertising. While “La Jornada, a small leftist newspaper, obtained 252 million pesos.”

Krauze explained to the magazine that the government’s revenue included advertising, public library subscriptions, and historical documentary contracts and “represented only 15 percent of the total revenue from its cultural businesses.”

According to The Economist, the two magazines, Nexos and Letras Libres, only reach 30,000 copies and yet the president of Mexico is afraid of them.

There are two apparent reasons. One is that he is temperamentally allergic to criticism. The other is that he is following a populist strategy of dividing his country into “the people” and “the reactionaries.” It does not matter how both Krauze and Aguilar Camín have been fierce critics of previous governments, the publication writes.

Besides, he recalled the letter that 650 intellectuals signed for the president to stop the attacks against freedom of expression and whose publication occurred in El Universal.

Through the display, the cultural and scientific community warns that under López Obrador’s management, freedom of expression is under siege and that “democracy is threatened with it.”

“That reflects the fears of intellectuals in Brazil regarding its populist president, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro is from the right, and López Obrador claims to be from the left. But more and more, it seems that the main difference between them is simply that the Mexican speaks softer and has better manners.” the article concludes.

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