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Mexican leader calls report of surge in murders yellow journalism

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (R) speaks during his first press meeting of the year at the National Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico, on 2 January 2019. Lopez Obrador denied the rising of the number of murders during his first month of Government, acusing the newspaper Reforma of slander and make sensationalist journalism. EPA-EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (R) speaks during his first press meeting of the year at the National Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico, on 2 January 2019. Lopez Obrador denied the rising of the number of murders during his first month of Government, acusing the newspaper Reforma of slander and make sensationalist journalism. EPA-EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez

EFE

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador used the term yellow journalism on Wednesday to describe a report in a leading newspaper asserting that murders rose 65 percent in Mexico during his first month in office.

“Today in Reforma, in eight columns, it was said that violence has shot up during the time we have (been in office). This is how reactionary conservatism works, but what they say is not true,” the president said at his daily morning press conference.

On its front page last Friday, Reforma published an article in which it states that - according to its own count - homicides increased by 65 percent in the first month of the leftist leader’s mandate, which began on December 1, compared to the month of November.

“This newspaper on other occasions has slandered (and) has not had the seriousness to rectify” its mistakes, Lopez Obrador said. “They rush in with sensationalist journalism, they are not serious, honest, or attached to reality.”

Mexico registered 31,174 homicides in 2017, the highest annual figure in two decades, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

Lopez Obrador, who handily won the July 1 presidential election, has said that he will reduce figures relating to lack of security and violence by supporting social programs and by implementing greater coordination between police and military forces by creating the National Guard.

Last Friday, the president announced a plan to recruit up to 50,000 soldiers, marines and Federal Police officers in the coming years for the new National Guard.


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