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MYOB: AMLO to European Parliament

13 March 2022

It’s no secret that journalism is a dangerous occupation in this country, what with 55 recorded murders of members of the fourth estate on record. Nothing like the slaughter of human and environmental rights activists (98), but still…

That the journalist murdered are overwhelmingly LOCAL reporters (a few from indigenous language radio stations with limited coverage) who got crosswise with the local “powers that be”… as likely mining or timber or big ag interests as the usual narcotics people (who are sometimes the same gang), and there is only so much the Federal government can do (not to say it can’t do more), but for the conservative media, it’s a “never let a disaster go to waste” opportunity.

One of the better reforms in recent years was the massive cuts to government propaganda budgets… what had been a soft form of censorship in the past (by controlling paper imports during the hay-day of print media) and, during the “neoliberal era” (from Salinas thru Peña Nieto) by advertising heavily in pro-government media, or by outright granting “stipends” to friendly journalists and “pundits”. The latter, notably Carlos Loret de Mola, the Krauzes (father and son) and Joaquín López-Dóriga, for some reason objected, and their coverage shows it. Loret de Mola (who lives in Miami, last I heard) went further, raising funds (somehow) to start a Spanish language on-line media company headquarted in Delaware.. supposedly to present Spanish language news to US residents, but focused more on every “scandal” in the Morena government… throwing everything up on the wall, and trying to see what sticks. (https://restofworld.org/2021/mexico-latinus/)

Which… so far… ain’t been much. HOWEVER, like any politician in any government with a free press, the President has fought back, particularly when a non-scandal hits his family: his son who lives in Houston, has a high paying job with a Mexican developer, and his wife another high paying job with Baker-Hughes — which like other big Houston businesses is bound to do some business with Mexico — and they rent an expensive house, for about what anyone would pay for rent in that neighborhood. Hell, the semi-scandal with Biden’s son working as a consultant for a Ukrainian firm at some ridiculous salary (especially for Ukraine), or the many business ventures of the Trump children had more legs than that.

So, AMLO fought back… maybe a bit more fiercely than necessary, including a regular feature added to his morning press briefings, the “Fake News of the Week” presentation, and leaking what information is available about Loret de Mola’s income.

AMLO, being AMLO, is not always the most diplomatic of speakers, known for a cutting wit, and deadpan delivery. Although he has gone out of his way to not threaten any journalist, and those in question being high-profile figures, some living in the United States, the chances of them being targeted by gangsters or killers in the pay of corporate interests are nil… HELL, they practically represent those corporate interests (or, rather, the politicians who benefit from them).

The journalists who are in danger don’t have corporate media giants behind them (like the Krauzes’ regulars in the Washington Post ad the New York Times, or whoever is financing Latinus) but are those most likely to be read by “foreign correspondents” like The Guardian’s Tom Philips (who apparently covers all of Latin America, from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego, and has only been based in Mexico City since 2018 (gotta admit, I miss David Agren, who actually knew Mexican politics and the players) covered … from the European Union viewpoint (weird, considering The Guardian is in a country not part of that Union any more) — the latest chapter in the AMLO v media: “Mexican president lashes out at EU ‘lies’ over his media-bashing rhetoric“.

On a motion presented by Venezuelan fascist exile Leopoldo Lopez’ father, Spanish MEUP for the Popular Party (the post-Francoist right party), Leopoldo López Gil, a motion to “condemn” Mexico, and specifically it’s president, for his intemperate language. Adding that Mexico must “do more” to protect journalists (and no one disagrees with that), the European Parliament did manage to pass the motion.

While it has no force of… well… anything, given that the Spain’s relations with Mexico have not been all that smooth during this administration… mostly having to do with Spanish control of so much of the electrical generation industry, and support for the opposition parties from Spanish rightists (coupled, as things having to do with Spain always are, with it never having quite got over it’s former colonial mindset), AMLO got a little testy.

Perhaps in a pique of anger, he fired off a “fuck you” letter to the European Parliament. Well, maybe “intemperate” is a better word. Anyway, making the point that the present government inherited the problem of previous governments and there’s only so much that can be done to stop the murders seemingly condoned (or rather not investigated), by state or municipal authorities; that the Europeans aren’t in possession of all the facts when they briefly considered the resolution; that, unlike the European nations, Mexico is not a war-mongering state, nor engaged in any conflicts with anyone; and that the Europeans don’t have some God-given “colonial” authority over nations outside their own boundaries.

Before commenting, please note that naturally the federal government can, and should, do more to protect journalist, and I know very well that especially independent, regional, and local journalists are particularly at risk. For a time, I worked for a paper just across the border, where, covering the narcotics trade probably got one of our reporters murdered (the body was never found) and any stories about the trade were published without a by-line. And, although I’d basically ignored what just appeared another in a long line of anti-AMLO attacks from the right and didn’t see a lot to mention, of all things, it was an article in the odious US website, Breitbart, that convinced me to say something. Yeah, I do look at lunatic rightist sites in the US: opposition research.

Breitbart’s “border correspondent”, Ildefonso Ortiz, who admittedly does a decent job (though I really wish he’d find a better outlet for his reportage) of covering border region mayhem, wrote about the European Parliament issue, and… being one of those “at risk” reporters, can’t blame him for the anti-AMLO slant. Still, what got me going wasn’t the article itself, but the commentators, who generally like the idea of killing reporters and pundits. Naturally, those morons are speaking of their “favorite” US reporters… the ones presenting inconvenient news to them, or editorialize in a way that doesn’t fit their warped world-view. What’s so ironic is that in a way, they’re sticking up for the Mexican “socialists” against the big power neo-liberal states… and I was equally appalled and amused by them.

And… have said enough.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mexicomystic permalink
    14 March 2022 7:08 am

    With the Ruso-Ukraine conflict going on , Mexico bashing is pushed in the background to a lesser extent, at least for the time being.
    It’s easy to see who’s getting stipends now and who is sleeping with the devil.

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