MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – The daily press conference of Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador – called ‘Mananeras’ ’ – has become the site of all kinds of claims and pleas from victims who, as happened with the death threat to a journalist on Wednesday, ask the president for help. And although no one doubts they monopolize national attention, many groups see it as a worrying sign that some things are not working as they should.
“President, president, please, they threatened to kill me,” shouted Rodolfo Montes, an independent investigative journalist, on Wednesday, as López Obrador was about to end the conference.
Montes said, her voice broke with tears, that she had received death threats from people who “presented themselves as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel … . The reporter asked the president for help escorting her His daughter left the country early on Wednesday due to threats, he explained in the morning.
“We will always protect you, trust us,” replied López Obrador.
What happens next is not always known. In the case of Lourdes Maldonado, a Tijuana journalist who had opted for a similar strategy, two years after waking up in the morning, he was murdered. Maldonado was one of 12 informers killed in Mexico this year, the deadliest for the press on the continent.
“These expressions are the result of a sense of danger and danger he has,” Jan-Albert Hutson, representative in Mexico of the Committee to Protect Journalists, told the Associated Press. “If they are forced to go to the President, it is because there have been problems at the lowest levels” and they have not been properly taken care of. “Security should be guaranteed by the state,” he said.
Montes is a reporter with over three decades of experience, a contributor to national media such as Processo or Millenio Group, and who typically conducts investigations on corruption, abuse of power or drug trafficking.
As he explained in an interview with the Associated Press, he had been a member of the federal apparatus to protect journalists for a year, although at certain times he had only one escort. Although he said he has “many open fronts”, he believes the current threat does not come from drug traffickers, but from an investigation he linked to an alleged Mexico City official involved in a crime. , a case that he already reported to the prosecutor’s office and said they had asked him not to give the data.
The Confederate system helped him out of Cancun after threats a week earlier, but when he arrived in the capital, where his daughter lived and who had also been threatened, he did not have Federal escorts, although they did not have Confederate escorts for her. Told . “I think they’re going to kill me at any moment,” he declared. So he decided to beg the President.
“Scenes like these are becoming more and more frequent,” Balbina Flores, a representative of Reporters Without Borders in Mexico, another press defense group, told the Associated Press.
Similar cases have occurred with other types of victims who have requested in press conferences only that forum to review an irregular criminal proceeding, to condemn the attacks or to request action for a specific individual or community. For. These individual requests are usually always included in the morning after their participation, but various organizations and sectors criticizing the government condemn it as specific responses and not structural solutions that benefit society as a whole.
Mexico is considered the most dangerous country on the continent to the press, something that has also been pointed out by high-ranking US and European officials. The organization Article 19 also recalls that the impunity in attacks on informants is 98% and that the majority come from public officials.
“It is sad because it seems that journalists have to go in the morning to listen, but one thing has to be heard and the other resolved,” said Balbina Flores. “Then immediately the president says ‘take care of them’ but the morning after, what happens to those journalists, those guards?”
In the afternoon, Montes confirms to the Associated Press that he already has escorts, but his fear has not subsided, nor has his resentment with a mechanism he believes is not working properly. Used to be. “I am dead in life,” he said.