The altered publication of a cartoon by the cartoonist Rapé, posted on the official Twitter account of the federal government, adds up to a series of facts that “lead us to infer that there is a strategy of information manipulation by the President Andrés Manuel López Obrador administration”, considered Leopoldo Maldonado Gutiérrez, director for Mexico and Central America of Article 19, an organization dedicated to the defense of freedom of expression.
In an interview, the lawyer considered it “very unfortunate” that for more than 12 hours the altered image of a cartoon showing President López Obrador, dressed as a baseball player, was on the official account of the federal government, batting a representation of coronavirus, to refer to the recovery of the agent from the infection.
This cartoon differs from the original, published in the newspaper Milenio in 2018, a situation that was claimed by the same cartoonist Rafael Pineda, Rapé, on the Twitter account, calling for the publication to be deleted.
Maldonado Gutiérrez considered that the government of the Republic failed “in two ways, first due to the use of a work without permission and its manipulation, and the second because society is being misinformed through an official account, distorting the original political message the cardboard has”.
When considering the “unfortunate” situation, considering that Rapé is a cartoonist who “has been one favorable to the government in power, and in the government of the Republic they play with that, in the sense Rapé himself has not hidden that he sympathizes with some aspects of the current government and others it has been critical, it is a regrettable situation”.
Maldonado Gutiérrez stressed that this fact is part of “a worrying pattern that we have seen in the social communication strategy of the Mexican government where reliable data is not always presented, not even in the voice of the president himself.”
“Article 19 has resorted to requests for information via the Transparency Law to contrast the words of López Obrador with “with documentary evidence that may be in the hands of the State institutions, and it is not possible starting with the Presidency, which responds that no they have that data. This has been something more and more evident and more and more systematic,” Maldonado Gutiérrez added.
The defender recalled that the State “has the obligation to inform and report in an objective, timely and truthful manner,” so that situations such as the handling of the Rapé cartoon raises doubts about the intentionality of the communication strategy of the government of López Obrador.
Muchas gracias a @GobiernoMX por responder a mi petición y eliminar el cartón reclamado. Procedo a borrar los mensajes que lo señalaron. Me aseguran que así de alterado fue como lo encontraron en redes.— Monero Rapé ✍🏼 (@monerorape) February 6, 2021
“I do not know if it is a failed strategy, because we have just seen many failures of this nature with the same effect that is not transmitting reliable information to society; I do not know if that is the strategy or rather if there is an intention to report truthfully but they are not doing it well ”, concluded Leopoldo Maldonado.
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