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Mexican President: Blinken “ill-informed” on the murders of journalists

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reprimanded the Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenPsaki confirms that the Biden-Putin meeting is not necessary Blinken cancels the meeting with a senior Russian diplomat on Ukraine Wednesday, after the head of the American diplomacy deplored the recent murders of Mexican journalists.

“Of course it’s very sad that there are murders of journalists, we know that, it’s just that we act on all these cases, there is no impunity, they are not state crimes,” López Obrador said in his daily press conference. .

“And if the head of the State Department of the United States government intervenes, well I think he doesn’t know, he’s not well informed about this situation because there are no crimes of the ‘State,’ he added.

Blinker Tuesday tweeted his concern about the murders; so far in 2022, five journalists have been killed in the country.

“The high number of journalists killed in Mexico this year and the continued threats they face are concerning. I join those calling for greater accountability and protection for Mexican journalists. My heart goes out to the loved ones of those who donated their lives for the truth,” Blinken wrote.

López Obrador defended his government’s actions to protect journalists from threats, including a mechanism to grant special federal security assistance to journalists.

But those efforts have been called into question, especially after the January death of Lourdes Maldonado López, who was technically protected by the federal mechanism when she was killed in Tijuana.

Maldonado had personally appealed to López Obrador during his daily press conference in 2019 and was embroiled in a protracted lawsuit against Jaime Bonilla, a former Baja California state governor and close López Obrador ally.

More recently, journalist Heber López Vásquez was killed in Oaxaca earlier this month, shortly after a colleague of his survived an attack.

The day after López’s murder, López Obrador took to his podium to protest a prominent national journalist, Carlos Loret de Mola, who reported on the president’s son’s lifestyle in Texas.

By attacking Loret de Mola, López Obrador revealed the journalist’s supposed income and called on the tax authorities to investigate his income.

Following his son’s lifestyle scandals and public threats against Loret de Mola, López Obrador denounced the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for funding anti-corruption groups critical of of his administration.

López Obrador often relied on anti-American rhetoric that had been largely abandoned in Mexico over the past quarter century.

Days before hosting Vice President Harris in Mexico City last May, López Obrador criticized the Biden administration’s alleged interventionism, saying USAID was funding “coup plotters” in the country.

Old President TrumpDonald Trump Quincy Institute leader: Negotiators ‘very close’ to deal on new Iran nuclear deal Cheney: Trump’s ‘adulation’ of Putin ‘helps our enemies’ Five takeaways as crisis ukrainian escalates MORE threatened Mexico with economic sanctions and tariffs. And López Obrador, who on the campaign trail in 2018 published a book critical of Trump titled “Listen, Trump,” has mostly avoided addressing bilateral issues during his morning press conferences under the Trump administration.

López Obrador’s rhetoric has grown fiercer under the Biden administration.

And this despite threats from Trump, tensions around the construction of the border wall and despite the fact that USAID disbursed $55.62 million to Mexico in 2019, $46.07 million in 2020 and $38.95 million dollars in 2021.

In response to Blinken’s tweet, López Obrador said Mexican authorities are investigating the killings of journalists and suggested the secretary keep himself informed of those efforts.

“[I would] interrogate [Blinken] as a favor to inform themselves and so that they do not act in an interventionist way because Mexico is not a colony of the United States, nor a protectorate. Mexico is a free, independent and sovereign country,” said López Obrador.

Updated at 6:33 p.m.