More than half of the statements made by President López Obrador at his morning press conferences during his first year in office were false or misleading, a fact-checking initiative found.
At news conferences between December 1, 2018 – the day López Obrador was sworn in – and the same date this year, Verificado said it identified 538 verifiable claims by the president.
Of that number, 240 were true, 150 were misleading, 136 were false and 12 are still under investigation, said Verificado, which was founded by a small group of journalists in 2017.
In other words, 53% of statements made by AMLO, as the president is commonly known, were false or misleading, while 45% were true.
Verificado’s analysis of statements made by the president in the first week of his second year in office found little variation in the percentages: between December 2 and 6, 49% of verifiable claims were false or misleading, while 47% were true.
Among those found to be false were claims about migration, crime, the economy, government welfare, education, Mexican history and the justice system.
On December 2, the president said that monthly deportations of foreigners had fallen to 40,000 from a high of 140,000 in May.
However, Verificado said that official statistics show that only 102,705 foreigners were deported to their countries of origin in the first nine months of the year. The highest number of deportations in a single month was 19,410 in June, the fact-checker said, 86% fewer than AMLO’s claim for May.
The same day, the president said that homicides in Mexico City had fallen to less than four a day compared to six when his government took office.
However, Verificado found that even in the month with the least number of murders in the capital this year – October – the daily homicide rate was just under five. The number of murders in Mexico City has in fact risen this year compared to 2018, the fact-checker said.
On December 3, AMLO claimed that the number of students who enrolled in the first year of high school increased by 20% this year as a result of government scholarships. However, a government reported showed that enrollments only increased by 2%, Verificado said.
Among the other false claims made by López Obrador last week were that slavery was abolished in Mexico just over 100 years ago (it was in fact outlawed more than 200 years ago), foreign direct investment (FDI) was at its highest level ever (statistics for the first nine months of the year show that FDI reached its second highest level ever) and “there is now no impunity” (impunity rates are above 90% in 31 of Mexico’s 32 federal entities, according to a report by the think tank México Evalúa).
Among the president’s misleading claims last week were that no journalist receives money from the government (it did, however, allocate more than 395 million pesos in the 2019 budget to media advertising) and that the minimum wage is higher in China than in Mexico (China doesn’t have a national minimum wage).
One subject on which AMLO didn’t slip up was food importations.
After noting on December 5 that corn is native to Mexico, López Obrador declared that the country buys more foreign corn than any other nation in the world. That statement was found to be true.
Mexico News Daily