AMLO lashes out at U.S. State Department over human rights report

By Kendal Blust
Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 3:37pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 3:38pm
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Mexico’s president is pushing back on an annual report by the U.S. State Department that says Mexican security forces and government agents have carried out serious human rights abuses.

The State Department’s 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights cited credible accounts of arbitrary killings, forced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations by Mexican military, police and government officials. It also highlighted the government’s role in discrediting journalists and restricting free expression in a country considered one of the deadliest in the world for media workers.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador strongly rejected those claims Wednesday, calling the State Department slanderers and liars and saying that they have no proof to support the report. López Obrador said such abuses were common under previous administrations, but that under his leadership those kinds of human rights violations have ceased.

He didn’t mention that Mexico’s own human rights commission released a report Tuesday saying that four soldiers used excessive force when they fired 117 shots at unarmed passengers in a pickup last month. They killed five men and wounded another.

The rights commission said the soldiers opened fire on the vehicle in the border city of Nuevo Laredo without justification, without following proper procedures and in violation of the victims' rights. The body has recommended the case be prosecuted.

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