President López Obrador has been widely criticized for laughing over a newspaper headline about massacres during his morning press conference Friday.
While mentioning atrocities committed during “the neoliberal period,” he asked conference staff to display a newspaper story on the conference room screen. But what appeared was a front-page story about atrocities committed during the López Obrador administration.
The headline in the newspaper Reforma declared, “Mexico massacres total 45.”
Apparently not realizing that the story was not referring to previous killings he declared, “There are the massacres!” and chortled.
Reaction from politicians of several parties and on social media was swift, and critical.
“Ahí están las masacres jejeje”.pic.twitter.com/SkNIcYaGu2
— Chumel Torres (@ChumelTorres) September 18, 2020
National Action Party Deputy Juan Carlos Romero Hicks said the president was disconnected from reality, and suffered “delusions of greatness and persecution.”
“The massacres have not disappeared, we are living through the most violent years and it is disrespectful to make fun of it,” Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Deputy Cinthya López Castro said. “There is a lack of empathy for the victims, as has been lacking on other occasions with victims of femicides.”
“It is a great lack of respect, a show of insensitivity and enormous irresponsibility from the president of Mexico to laugh at the number of massacres, which show a failure to combat crime rates and the growth of gangs, as well as the failure to fulfill its promises of a peaceful Mexico,” said Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Deputy Jesús Zambrano.
“With that laugh, let’s see what the LeBarons say to him, or other victims, such as mothers who are looking for their disappeared daughters,” he added. “This callousness from someone who calls himself a humanist is truly incredible,” he added.
The Reforma story followed a declaration by the president earlier this month that there were no longer massacres in Mexico. He said in his annual report to the nation, “… there is no longer torture, disappearances or massacres …”
In fact, Reforma said, there have been at least 45 massacres so far this year, killing 320 people. A killing is considered a massacre if there are five or more victims, the report said.