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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

The New York Times Smear of López Obrador

Bourgeois media outlets have always played an indispensable role in US efforts to maintain dominance over Latin America. The latest example: a prominently featured July 5 New York Times article suggesting that US ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar has become much too cozy with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

The piece claims that ambassador Salazar is giving dangerous credence to the notions that fraud warped the 2006 Mexican presidential election and that the US-funded NGO Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity is today engaging in partisan work. López Obrador has frequently leveled both these charges. 

The authors of the Times piece, Natalie Kitroeff and Maria Abi-Habib, incredulously marvel that Salazar would even entertain these thoughts. Yet both these views have, in fact, become mainstream inside México after years of brazen election manipulation by the PRI, the nation’s corrupt long-time ruling party, and years of political manipulation by US agencies and their proxies.


What Kitroeff and Abi-Habib should be incredulous about: the claim that, before the current Morena government, México went 70 years with “democratic” one-party rule!


If we’re being generous, this particular Times story can serve as a good example of how little foreign journalists understand México. But many of us see a more insidious truth.


US policymakers and politicians have been fuming about AMLO’s decision to skip the recent Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles — because Washington refused to invite all the nations of the Americas. Kitroeff and Abi-Habib based their story all on anonymous sources in Washington. That suggests a deliberate planting of the story as part of a broader effort to besmirch López Obrador as a supposed enemy of democracy.


Indeed, only a few weeks before the Times story appeared, US Senator Bob Menéndez had published an opinion piece arguing that AMLO, by opposing the exclusion of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua from the Summit, was aligning himself with the hemisphere’s “dictators.”


The effort to construct a narrative that López Obrador has autocratic tendencies neatly discounts his massive election mandate in 2018 and his continuing level of popular support, a level among the highest of any leader in the world. This effort serves only the interests of a US imperialism that seeks any excuse to intervene in the internal affairs of the countries of the Americas. Objective reporting? I think not.

José Luis Granados Ceja, a Mexican freelance journalist, is currently studying human rights and popular democracy at the Autonomous
University of Mexico City. His writings on democratic struggles in Latin America appear regularly online at his Antimperialistia site.