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Freeing the damned and trying the mighty: the week at the mañaneras

10 mins read
AMLO praised the Mexican army and denigrated a journalist for asking if his weekend trip to Sinaloa was connected to the family of jailed drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

On Sunday, the country will return to the polls. The referendum will ask whether five past presidents should be investigated for corruption; those leaders were only stripped of their immunity to prosecution in 2019.

The exercise has split opinion: what President López Obrador (or AMLO) has promoted as participatory democracy, sections of the international press have labeled a “sham trial.”

Whether enough voters end up is looking touch and go: 40% participation is that the minimum needed to form the result binding.
Sixty-seven years young and as eager as ever, the president discussed the subsequent topics at his morning press conferences in the week .

Monday’s conference was held in Veracruz.

Monday
Becoming well familiar with the ocean breeze, the president was at the port of Veracruz for Monday’s conference. Governor Cuitláhuac García gave thanks for the 60-billion-peso (US $3 billion) federal contribution in 2020, which was adequate to half the state’s budget.
Meanwhile, crime within the state, said Navy Minister José Rafael Ojeda Durán, had dropped 59% since 2019.

Questioned on violence, the president added up the weekend’s homicide numbers from state to state — over 200 — and announced 50 billion pesos ($2.5 billion) for the National Guard over subsequent two years. Fuel theft, he said, had been reduced from 80,000 barrels per day in November 2018 to five ,000, worth over 158 billion pesos (about US $7.89 billion).

A journalist reminded AMLO of his weekend comments: at a conference for foreign dignitaries at Chapultepec Castle he’d involved a “truly autonomous” supranational organization that might “not [be] anybody’s lackey,” as against the Washington D.C.-headquartered Organization of yank States (OAS).

“I believe that we must seek a replacement relationship between all the countries of America … with respect for the sovereignty of every country,” the president said, before reiterating his involve an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba.
Tuesday
Olympians got the nod on Tuesday. The mixed archery pair and women’s synchronized swimmers had all taken bronze. But there have been consolations for the women’s softball team, a sport on the brink of the president’s heart, who omitted on a medal after a decent contest with Canada. “We send all of them a hug,” AMLO said.

Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell assured reporters that the third wave of the pandemic was distinct from the previous two. Mortality, he said, was 77% less than within the first wave and 87% less than within the second. All people over 18 would have a primary dose by the top of October, the president stated; he later confirmed that his son Jesús Ernesto had contracted Covid-19 but was well.

The subject turned to Sunday’s referendum on whether Mexico’s ex-presidents should be investigated for corruption.

“Predictions are that it won’t reach the voting percentage,” posited a journalist, pertaining to the 40% turnout needed to legitimize the results.

“We trust within the people; we’ve to possess faith within the people … the people are very aware … this is often one among the foremost aware countries within the world,” the president replied.

Cuba returned to the table. Two ships were set to sail from Veracruz to the Caribbean Island nation, carrying medical equipment. Could the help cause U.S. sanctions against Mexico, asked a journalist.

“No, because we are an independent country, free, sovereign, and that we will behave intrinsically ,” AMLO affirmed.

Wednesday
Blood pressures rose for the fake news patrol on Wednesday. to line the scene, the government’s fake news czarina, Ana Elizabeth García Vilchis, offered some reassuring pronouncements: “Here, neither opinions nor criticisms are questioned. Here, freedom of expression is respected,” she said.

The first disavowed claim associated with the Felipe Ángeles airport: a piece of writing had stated that the development budget had been cut by 90%. “This information is fake ,” García said.

The Economist was next in her path: English newspaper’s July 15 headline called Sunday’s referendum “a trial of his [AMLO’s] predecessors.”

“It mocks the president and during a deceitful way makes it appear as if the referendum and therefore the question … are decisions of the president,” she said.

A graph indicates the administration’s positive (in green) vs. negative mentions within the media.
Hernández questioned García’s credentials: “Last week i used to be accused of lying on three occasions … and without journalistic authority … I turn Elizabeth García Vilchis — as real journalists do once they make mistakes — to … apologize.”

In response, AMLO questioned the journalist’s credentials as an environmentalist.

It was to be another busy weekend ahead for the president, and he mapped it all out for the press.

“We’re getting to have the conference in Culiacán [Sinaloa] on Friday … I’m getting to supervise the roads [being built] … I’m going this weekend to Sinaloa, Durango, Nayarit. And on Monday, the safety meeting will happen in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.”

Thursday
First on Thursday, Interior Minister Olga Sánchez announced a planned reform for prisoners awaiting trial, who she said made up 43% of the prison population.

Any federal prisoner that has been tortured, for any crime, are going to be eligible for release, she explained. Additionally, any federal prisoners awaiting trial that are over 75, or are over 65 and with severe health problems, are going to be ready to leave prison and live under confinement .

The president confirmed that the prisoners in question would be released by September 15. However, he conceded that the reform only scratched the surface: “Look,” he said, “under state jurisdiction without sentence: 82,189 [prisoners]; under federal jurisdiction: 12,358.”

A journalist from W Radio dropped in to ask the president if his weekend trip to Sinaloa was connected to the family of jailed drug baron Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. AMLO linked the question to a recent headline by the Spanish newspaper El País and offered his disdain. “A prejudicial way of doing journalism … that’s conjecture,” he said.

Before the conference ended, a recording of a prisoner was played by a journalist: “My name is Pablo Green Salamanca,” it announced. “… i’m a victim of the form of government … I even have committed no crime … I trust you that you simply have the desire to try to to justice which innocent people like me won’t remain in prison while innocent.”

A graph indicates the administration’s positive (in green) vs. negative mentions in the media.

Friday
The conference was broadcast from Culiacán, Sinaloa, on Friday where Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) offered kind words to the president. The defense minister gave a security report, which signaled a rise in femicides within the state, making it the third worst within the country.

Later within the conference, AMLO expressed his admiration for the military .

“Let us not forget the origin of our army … from a revolutionary movement … it’s the fruit of our people … The rank generals are the sons of peasants; they’re the sons of workers, they’re the sons of merchants, they’re the sons of soldiers,” he said.

He also stood by the choice to release the son of “El Chapo” after he was detained in Culiacán in October 2019. “I have a transparent conscience because, once I asked for a report … quite 200 innocent people were getting to lose their lives, consistent with the estimate … and that i said: ‘No.’”

Shortly thereafter, the conference came to an in depth . However, there was little time for the president to catch his breath: the weekend would take him to 3 states in as many days.

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