Lopez Obrador declares that he supports General Sandoval all the way in his decision not to appear before Congress

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FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2019 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, center, stands with Secretary of Defense Luis Crescencio Sandoval, left, and Secretary of the Navy, Vidal Francisco Soberon, in an open military vehicle during the Independence Day military parade in the capital's main plaza, the Zocalo, in Mexico City. López Obrador announced Friday, July 17, 2020 that the military will take over the country’s land and maritime ports of entry, as he tries to root corruption out of the country’s customs offices. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has shaken off criticism against the country’s defense ministry for refusing to appear before legislators to explain a major cyber hack, resulting in a massive data breach.

Lopez Obrador asked the opposition to calm down and have some tea, during a regular news conference on Tuesday, describing the criticism as politically motivated.

“It’s politics, don’t give importance to that, it’s not news,” Lopez Obrador answered evasively when asked about whether General Luis Sandoval, who heads the defense ministry, enjoys privileges.

The National Defense Commission of the Chamber of Deputies summoned General Sandoval to Congress a couple of weeks ago, but he never appeared.

Lawmakers summoned Sandoval to explain what measures the armed forces were taking after a massive hack leaked classified information in September.

The leak brought to light details of Lopez Obrador’s health, sensitive data on military operations, military monitoring of journalists and activists, and the armed forces’ knowledge of acts of corruption between authorities and criminal groups.

Although secretaries of state are not obliged to accept legislators’ invitations, these appearances – sometimes occurring behind closed doors – are seen as a tool for accountability.

Since taking office in 2018, Lopez Obrador has strengthened the armed forces’ role in public security functions, such as infrastructure projects and customs activities.

Mexico’s Congress last week approved extending the role of the armed forces in public security tasks until 2028.

Source: El Financiero

Mexico Daily Post