AMLO and United States-based Mexican journalist Jorge Ramos engaged in a robust verbal duel on Monday morning as the latter challenged the former on his record in reducing violent crime and managing the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramos, a reporter for the U.S.-based Spanish language television network Univision, appeared at López Obrador’s morning press conference — the mañanera — at the National Palace in Mexico City, and didn’t hold back when given the opportunity to probe the president.
“I was here at the mañanera in January of 2020 to ask you about the terrible wave of violence here in the country and you told me the following, and I’m quoting: ‘There will be results this year,’” Ramos said.
“Well, more than a year later, there are results but very negative ones, Mr. President. Your government is on track to become the most violent in the modern history of Mexico – more than 86,000 [violent] deaths up to now since you were sworn in, according to official figures. If things stay the same, there will be more deaths than … [during the governments of former presidents] Peña Nieto and Calderón,” he said.
“Femicides continue to increase with respect to last year – you know it, you said it last week – and outside the bubble of the National Palace, the country is not in peace and tranquility, [as you claimed] Mr. President. They’re killing almost 100 Mexicans a day, in Aguililla, in Zacatecas, in Reynosa. … You’re almost halfway through your government and you’re still blaming ex-presidents for what you haven’t been able to do. So, my question is, do you believe that your [security] strategy of ‘hugs, not bullets’ has been a complete failure … and are you going to ask for help, because up to now you haven’t been able [to stem the violence].”
With a wry smile creeping across his face, López Obrador told Ramos that he didn’t agree with him, asserting that his administration has in fact made progress in improving the country’s security situation.
“… I have other information,” said AMLO, reverting to his favorite catchphrase when confronted with information that portrays him and his government in a negative light.
The journalist and the president also clashed over Mexico’s Covid-19 death toll. Ramos asked López Obrador whether he accepted responsibility for the “the poor management of the pandemic” and received a perhaps predictable response:
“I don’t agree with you,” AMLO responded. Ramos noted that there is a discrepancy between the official Covid-19 death toll – currently, more than 233,000 – and fatalities that the Health Ministry has acknowledged are associated with the disease. The discordant figures appear on the same government website, he said.
Source: El Universal
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