Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador delivered an unorthodox and sardonic response to a European Parliament resolution calling on it to increase protections for the press and human rights advocates, amid a rising number of journalist killings in the country.
Mexico’s response, delivered through official channels as an unsigned open letter to European members of Parliament, opened by calling on members to stop their “corruption, lies and hypocrisy.”
“It is regrettable that you would join like sheep to the reactionary and coup-plotting strategy of the corrupt group that opposes the Fourth Transformation, propelled by millions of Mexicans to confront the monstrous inequality and the violence inherited by the neoliberal economic policy that for 36 years was imposed in our country,” read the letter.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration was reacting to a resolution passed Thursday by the European Parliament which “calls on the authorities, and in particular the highest ones, to refrain from issuing any communication which could stigmatize human rights defenders, journalists, and media workers, exacerbate the atmosphere against them or distort their lines of investigation.”
The López Obrador administration’s response touched on a series of bilateral and global issues, from boasting about Mexico’s “pacifism” for not sending weapons into a war zone – in a thinly veiled allusion to European military assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion – to López Obrador’s approval ratings: “by the way with higher approval than European rulers.”
“Next time, inform yourselves and read well the resolutions that you are presented with before casting your vote. And don’t forget that we are no longer anyone’s colony. Mexico is a free, independent, and sovereign country,” read the letter.
The European resolution came as six journalists have been killed in Mexico in 2022 in connection to their work, making Mexico the deadliest country in the world to practice journalism.
In a letter sent to the EU, the Mexican government weaved accusations of colonialism and undue interference in domestic affairs, while repeating López Obrador’s claims that journalists are free to exercise their profession in Mexico.
“Know European members of Parliament, that Mexico has ceased to be a land of conquest and, like in very few times throughout its history, the libertarian principles of equality and democracy are being upheld. Nobody is repressed here, the right to freedom of expression and the work of journalists is respected. The state does not violate human rights as previous governments did, when you, by the way, were silent,” read the letter.