Mexico: President says criticism over journalist killings is part of 'soft coup'

i24NEWS - Reuters

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Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during a press conference, Mexico City, December 3, 2018.
AP Photo/Christian PalmaMexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during a press conference, Mexico City, December 3, 2018.

'It's a kind of coup. It's no longer the traditional military coup'

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday that the criticism he faces over a string of journalist killings is part of a campaign to undermine his administration, tantamount to a "soft coup."

Local activists, international groups and US lawmakers called on Lopez Obrador to do more to curb violence and protect reporters. 

At least six journalists were killed in Mexico so far in 2022, and homicides are already near record levels. 

"There's a campaign against the government I represent that's taking advantage of this unfortunate circumstance," Lopez Obrador told a news conference in response to a question about whether his government had failed to protect media workers, according to Reuters

PEDRO PARDO (AFP)
PEDRO PARDO (AFP)Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his report on the first 100 days of government, at the National Palace in Mexico City on March 11, 2019

The Mexican president has ramped up attacks on journalists and media outlets that he regards as hostile to the government and accuses of being pawns of the "conservative" right and elites. 

"It's a kind of coup. It's no longer the traditional military coup; it's a soft coup with the power of the media that generally controls public opinion," Lopez Obrador said, according to Reuters

From 2000 to 2021, roughly 145 journalists were killed in Mexico, according to human rights organization Article 19, making the country one of the deadliest for journalists. 

The worst year in recent history was 2017, with 12 murders, followed by 2010, with 10.

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