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Journalist Arvide asks a question during a presidential press conference. Journalist Arvide asks a question during a presidential press conference.

AMLO defends journalist’s diplomatic appointment: ‘no cronyism’

President said he wants both career diplomats and people with other experience to represent Mexico abroad

President López Obrador has defended the appointment of a journalist to a diplomatic role in Turkey, asserting that it was not a result of cronyism.

María Isabel Arvide Limón, publisher of a military-focused blog, was named as Mexico’s new consul in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday, triggering a barrage of criticism because she has no diplomatic experience. Some people claimed she was given the job because she is close to López Obrador.

But the president told reporters at his regular news conference on Thursday that wasn’t the case.

“She’s a journalist who has been exercising the noble trade of journalism for more than 40 years, she doesn’t have a bad record, [and] I didn’t find her in the list of those who received money in the previous government,” López Obrador said.

He added that Arvide was the first woman to win the National Journalism Prize and questioned why people were suddenly judging the appointment of a consul so harshly.

López Obrador noted that Eduardo Medina Mora served as Mexico’s ambassador to the United States before becoming a Supreme Court justice only to resign last year amid allegations of corruption.

“He was ambassador in Washington and he had to leave [the court] for improper conduct,” he said.

In appointing Arvide to the consul role, there was no cronyism, the president declared, explaining that he wants both career diplomats and people with other experience to represent Mexico abroad.

“A journalist was appointed to the Vatican as well,” López Obrador said, asserting that Arvide is prepared for the job and noting that “she’s written books.”

“Is she controversial? We’re all controversial. … She is prepared, she’s written a lot; there are consuls who haven’t written texts so she is prepared,” he said, adding that the journalist doesn’t write “in favor” of the government.

“I don’t establish relationships of complicity with anyone. … Now you’re all very sensitive, … and suffer from amnesia, … you don’t remember how things were,” López Obrador said, referring to corruption during past governments.

“So we appoint Isabel Arvide and it’s an enormous scandal.”

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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