‘Who is who in the lies of the week?’: The new (and controversial) section of López Obrador during his morning conference

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The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, premiered this Wednesday the section ‘Who is who in the lies of the week?’, In which information published in the media is displayed that from the perspective of the ruling party is false or misleading.

“The exercise that we are starting today is very important, because it hurts a lot,” said the president.

The presentation of this section, which will be developed every Wednesday, was in charge of Ana Elizabeth García Vilchis, collaborator of the communication office of the Presidency of the Republic.

The list of news that was exhibited in the morning conference were the following:

  • ‘Espionage to journalists’, published by various media, mainly the newspaper El Universal.
  • “Mexico contracted 35 million vaccines with a ghost company,” from Univisión.
  • ‘Excess radioactive waste stalks the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant’, from the Spanish newspaper El País.
  • ‘The president passes in front of an armed hitman as if nothing’, about a video that went viral on social networks.
  • ‘The National Guard takes over the UDLA’, a story spread by journalist Raymundo Riva Palacio.

“Nothing to lie, that there is in ethical journalism, that the noble profession of journalism is an ethical imperativeIn addition to assuming the responsibility that respect is owed to the people, that you cannot lie with impunity, “said López Obrador.

The section opens in the morning conferences almost a month before the midterm elections of 2021, where the ruling Morena party suffered a historical setback in Mexico City. For the president, this electoral defeat was the consequence of the false information disseminated in the media that would have had an important receptivity among the sectors of “the aspirational middle class”, according to the president’s own statements, which have been the subject of criticism for weeks.

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Reactions in the networks

Following the presentation of the new section, social media users reacted for and against this new section during the morning conference.

Thus, the journalist Luis Guillermo Hernández described ‘Who is who in the lies of the week?’ as a “great” communication exercise, an opinion also shared by other citizens on Twitter.

In contrast, other users of social networks considered that the accusations against journalists are “dangerous” in a country like Mexico, where information professionals face numerous risks.

They also highlighted the lack of rigor in the handling of the information displayed by the president as false or misleading.

Press relations

López Obrador has had a confrontation with various media and journalists throughout his tenure. Already at the beginning of his administration, the president cut spending on official advertising, which directly affected a sector that had been privileged in previous six-year terms.

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In contrast, organizations such as the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) have criticized the constants “attacks” of López Obrador against the communicators, denouncing that they put the freedom of the press in Mexico at risk.

With eight journalists killed in 2020, the latest Reporters Without Borders (RSF) report ranks Mexico as the world’s most lethal country for the press. According the count of Article 19, a local organization in defense of freedom of expression and information, so far during López Obrador’s administration, 20 journalists have been assassinated in the country.

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