01 March 2024

AMLO lashes out against press freedom

Weekly summary of press freedom in the Americas.
Miami (March 1, 2024) - The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, publicly revealed the telephone number of The New York Times journalist Natalie Kitroeff, and sparked a public controversy with the U.S. newspaper and press organizations in the continent.

The Mexican president justified his action and also protested and accused the YouTube platform of censorship for having withdrawn the video where he exposed Kitroeff's data. The correspondent had requested his comments on an article linking AMLO's allies with drug cartels.

The Inter American Press Association condemned the incident through a post on X. In addition, 123 journalists signed an open letter rejecting the president's harassment of the journalist. Meanwhile, collaborators and journalists of the newspaper El Universal published a public letter in which they expressed their concern for "the aggressions of the authorities".

Mexico's National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) announced that it will investigate the case.

AMLO also accused this week journalist Carlos Loret Mola of being a "mafioso protected by the Judicial Power". Loret Mola was sued by the president's brother, Pío López Obrador, after publishing videos of alleged corruption. "He is one of the most corrupt journalists in Mexico," said the president.
The Mexican president has also taken on the task of publishing the salaries of some critical journalists such as Jorge Ramos and Leon Krauze of Univision. He assured that they are paid for attacking him.

On the other hand, in Ecuador, soldiers attacked journalists and cameramen while they were covering a car accident in Guayaquil. The uniformed men covered the journalists' cameras and damaged their equipment.

Supporters of Maribel Gordón, presidential candidate in Panama, attacked journalists from TVN Media during coverage of the presidential debate. "When they saw the journalists they came down on them, first with shouts and then with blows," said Fausto Fernandez, president of the electoral delegates of the Electoral Tribunal.

In the Dominican Republic, a group of criminals murdered lawyer and journalist Felix Alberto de Jesús during a robbery.

is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.