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Mexico’s president says relations with press are good 100 days into term

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on March 11, 2019. EPA-EFE/Jose Mendez

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on March 11, 2019. EPA-EFE/Jose Mendez

EFE

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that his relationship with the Mexican press at the 100-day mark of his term was good and thanked media outlets for covering his daily morning press conferences.

“We have no problems with the mass media. It’s a good relationship with everyone,” the founder and leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) said during his daily press conference at the National Palace.

Monday’s morning press conference was brief, lasting just 20 minutes, and the Mexican leader, popularly known as AMLO, did not take any questions because he planned a briefing later in the day on his first 100 days in office.

Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who took office on Dec. 1, praised reporters for attending his daily press conferences, saying that their coverage demonstrated “dedication, perseverance and professionalism.”

The president said he had a “respectful” relationship with the press and a “circular dialogue” had been established.

“We have our differences, but that’s the way it is in a democratic political system. If it were a dictatorship, there would be lots of confrontation or silence,” Lopez Obrador, who has criticized the press at times for being too conservative, said.

The president said he planned to continue holding morning press conferences after the first 100 days of his administration.

The daily press conferences will continue “until the citizens decide” otherwise or “until the end of the term,” Lopez Obrador said.

The president said he planned to hold a referendum at the midpoint of his six-year term, giving citizens a say in whether he should remain in office.

AMLO said Islas Marias, a penal colony in the Pacific Ocean, had been closed as a “symbolic act” to mark his first 100 days in office.

“We did it with an executive order and that prison is now closed,” Lopez Obrador said, adding that some inmates were transferred to other prisons and some were released.

The four islands in the Pacific archipelago are located about 60 nautical miles off the coast of Nayarit, a state in northwestern Mexico.

The penal colony in the Islas Marias was built in 1905 under President Porfirio Diaz to house some of the most dangerous criminals of the time.

Over the years, the penal colony ended up housing minimum-security inmates.


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