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In the face of the onslaught of Mexico’s socialist president against the press, a debate has arisen among colleagues as to how opportune it is to come to the defense of some of the journalists López Obrador is attacking with the full weight of his propaganda apparatus. The debate, of course, is divided according to which side of the ideological spectrum each one defends.
I say this in all honesty: I am a journalist, and I will defend journalism at all costs, even when I may have partial or absolute disagreements with my colleagues.
Although the main focus of López Obrador’s attacks has been Carlos Loret de Mola—whose journalistic past is linked to set-ups such as that of Florence Cassez—I have said in this tribune that his work seems fundamental to me in light of the anti-democratic situation that Mexico is currently experiencing.
Now, the president wants to impose a narrative according to which Carmen Aristegui and Jorge Ramos are equivalent to Carlos Loret de Mola, and that is a deception to which we cannot succumb. I can and will defend Loret de Mola’s right to freely practice journalism, but I know very well that his trajectory has little in common with that of Jorge and Carmen.
Jorge Ramos is a journalist who is an inconvenience for many people, no matter where he is. In the United States, the GOP considers him a communist. In Mexico, the socialist president accuses him of being a conservative. Wherever he goes, he is a thorn in their side.
Regardless of Ramos’ ideological tendency, I will always defend his right to inform and express his opinion. Some of you may not know this, but Jorge is in the U.S. after having suffered censorship during the period known as Mexico’s “Perfect Dictatorship.”
I do not forget that when the PRI and PAN governments tried—and succeeded—in censoring journalists, Ramos was one of the few who denounced and echoed the courageous investigations of his Mexican colleagues.
I believe in a democracy where we journalists can defend our points of view no matter how disparate they may be. A democracy where Jorge Ramos, Lydia Cacho, Anabel Hernández, Joaquín López-Dóriga, Denise Maerker, Brozo and Loret can exist—all of them.
As for Aristegui, I would need another column to talk about her journalistic virtues. She was censored by the PRI and by the PAN with cowardly attacks from the government office, but no president attacked her in the frontal and rogue way of López Obrador.
Journalism is not at the service of anyone. It is there to make everyone uncomfortable.