A private citizen’s tweet that was critical of President López Obrador’s economic plan for the coronavirus pandemic drew an insulting reply from the office of the Attorney General on Sunday, prompting an internal investigation.
Twitter user Araceli Benítez, a Mexican woman living in California, complained about the Mexican president on social media on Sunday, writing “I want to cry. I did not expect anything good from him, but it is very sad that he has confirmed once again what analysts have always warned; Andrés Manuel López Obrador is a danger to Mexico.”
The offensive reply from the Attorney General’s Office was abrupt and pulled no punches. Someone using the agency’s official Twitter account retorted, “The danger for Mexico is people like you, without an ounce of intelligence.”
Although the Tweet was swiftly deleted, it was copied and shared by a number of users on social media who have loudly criticized the attack on Benítez. Screenshots of the offensive tweet have been extensively retweeted and many Twitter users have demanded an apology.
On Monday the Attorney General’s Office acknowledged and disavowed the tweet in a message to its 772,000 followers and announced an internal investigation to determine which of its employees was responsible.
The executive director of the Americas division of Human Rights Watch demanded an explanation from the government department. “This outburst is not minor,” said José Miguel Vivanco. “It is a harsh personal attack from the official account of one of the most powerful authorities in Mexico. Who has access to that account? Has it been hacked? The attorney general, Alejandro Gertz Manero, must explain what happened and punish the person responsible,” he said.