As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Mexico’s President Criticizes ‘Obligatory’ Measures

Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 5:44pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 6:24pm

As COVID-19 cases rise in many parts of the country, Mexico’s president is advising against resorting to what he called "authoritarian" measures.

Chihuahua is one state where case growth has been especially troubling, and officials there have made mask-wearing mandatory. Fines and even short jail sentences can be imposed for non-compliance.

“I am not in favor of coercive measures,” said Andrés Manuel López Obrador in response to a question about such policies, but did clarify that he respects state-level decisions.

Better, he said, is to make Mexican citizens aware of safety measures, and trust that they’ll use them, which he credited with flattening the country’s first spike.

“We are not going to recommend anything, absolutely nothing, that means submission, punishment, coercion,” he said later.

In Sonora, early stay-at-home policies and other measures were obligatory, and noncompliance was punishable with fines.

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