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Ignoring Deadly Assaults Against Journalists, AMLO Threatens Carlos Loret and the Free Press

AMLO se desbarranca hacia la tiranía. Imagen: EFE/Mario Guzman

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Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) leans every day towards dictatorship. He is upset, frustrated, and unhinged. The reports by Carlos Loret de Mola’s team at LatinUs have exposed the president and his kin as a bunch of hypocrites and scoundrels who preach austerity and poverty, while enjoying the sweetness of power.

The reports on the PEMEX contracts with AMLO’s cousin, the envelopes full of money received by his brother, and the mansions where his son has fun in Texas have been accurate, direct and forceful blows. In a scenario where López Obrador has no problem controlling an unsavory and inept partisan opposition, journalist Carlos Loret de Mola has become the great counterweight to the President’s narrative, and Andrés Manuel does not tolerate that.

AMLO goes off the rails thanks to his anger mismanagement

Possessed by his hatred towards Carlos Loret, AMLO is becoming a tyrant and he is going headlong into tyranny. On February 11, the president used his morning conference not only to insult (as he usually does), but to openly violate the secrecy of personal data, in order to make public the journalist’s income. López Obrador showed a table where he mentions that last year Loret earned 35.2 million pesos and pointed out:

“What is very striking to me, and Televisa’s directors will have to clarify it, is that Loret is supposedly no longer working for Televisa and they gave him 11 million 800 thousand pesos last year,” the president said. “I am going to ask the transparency institute, they already know that I have some differences with them, but formally I am going to ask them to ask the SAT to certify the data.”

What is serious, beyond the fact that Loret accuses that those figures are false, is that neither the Tax Administration Service, nor the “transparency institute” have the power to take private data of taxpayers and pass them on or “certify” them as gossip to the president.

To conclude, Article 69 of the Federal Tax Code states that “the official personnel involved in the different procedures related to the application of the tax provisions shall be obliged to keep absolute confidentiality regarding the returns and data provided by taxpayers or third parties related to them, as well as those obtained in the exercise of the verification powers”.

Yes, ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY, which can only be omitted in cases expressly mentioned in the legislation itself, none of which includes the option of “media vendettas.” So, by revealing private information of a citizen, presumably resorting to the contacts he has in his public function, President López Obrador violated the law.

He violated public law and undoubtedly declared war on national television not only against Carlos Loret as an individual but against journalism and society as a whole.

The message is very clear: Those who do not applaud the president’s whims and squanderings will be subjected to full government force, regardless of what the laws say; regardless of institutional limits; regardless of decency or common sense.

And that is a very bad sign. It is an indication that López Obrador is yielding more and more to the whispers of the authoritarian demon, to that dictatorial seduction that he initially seemed to resist, but is becoming stronger as time goes by while his six-year term runs out.

AMLO se desbarranca hacia la tiranía y se lanza contra el periodista Carlos Loret. Imagen: EFE/Angel Díaz
AMLO is becoming a tyrant and lashes out at journalist Carlos Loret. (EFE)

Mexico, towards tyranny

Just on February 10, The Economist downgraded Mexico’s democracy, now considering it a “hybrid regime”, and what happened today dramatically confirmed the diagnosis. Democracy has not been completely eroded, it is not yet a dictatorship, but it is getting closer, and it looks set to get worse.

Resentment in the background

In the midst of his delirium, López Obrador emphasized that Loret de Mola earns 15 times more than him, and justified the witch hunt by saying that “it is not a personal matter, I am fine with my conscience, I sleep peacefully, but I represent a transformation process to end corruption in Mexico”.

Behind the rhetoric it is clear that AMLO is deeply envious of Loret’s supposed wealth, but what he really does not forgive him is the fact that with the release of his reports, the journalist is eroding the anti-corruption discourse, which is the great presidential tag line.

If López Obrador loses the banner of honesty, he is left naked with the miseries of his bad results. He knows it. He does not forgive that. And in the fury of that certainty, he is becoming a tyrant.

Gerardo Garibay Camarena, is a doctor of law, writer and political analyst with experience in the public and private sectors. His new book is "How to Play Chess Without Craps: A Guide to Reading Politics and Understanding Politicians" // Gerardo Garibay Camarena es doctor en derecho, escritor y analista político con experiencia en el sector público y privado. Su nuevo libro es “Cómo jugar al ajedrez Sin dados: Una guía para leer la política y entender a los políticos”

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