Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press, and now journalists face a new risk: insults and attacks from leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The populist leader known as “AMLO” took office in December promising “radical” change — and looked set to deliver it, at least in his relations with the media. Whereas his predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto, almost never took questions from journalists, Lopez Obrador, 65, holds a press conference at 7:00 am every weekday. The access at this “early riser,” as the press conference is known, is so unfettered that a journalist once climbed up on the dais with the president to debate homicide statistics with him face to face, unhindered by bodyguards. But Lopez Obrador has also turned the widely watched press conferences into a platform for launching smears and veiled threats against reporters and media outlets that rub him the wrong way. His favorite insult for media he takes exception to is “fifi,” which roughly translates as “hoity-toity.” He does not shy from calling out media organizations by name. For instance, he regularly attacks Reforma, one of the country’s leading newspapers, once insisting it reveal its sources on a story he… Read full this story
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