A Mexico City lawmaker has been criticized by President López Obrador and counseled by her congressional colleagues after asserting that criminals are “beasts” underserving of human rights.
National Action Party (PAN) Deputy América Rangel came under fire after she tweeted Saturday that “human rights are precisely for humans” and “criminals are beasts that don’t deserve any consideration.”
López Obrador on Monday described her opinion as “conservative thinking” before declaring that “fortunately Mexico is different” and “the people have become aware.”
Rangel responded to his remarks in another tweet, saying that “as was to be expected,” the president “got very angry about me calling his partners and protégés, the poor little criminals, beasts.”
“… I repeat it: murderers, rapists and kidnappers are beasts that don’t deserve a hug but do deserve all the force of the state. Coward,” she added above a photo of López Obrador.
“They expose themselves on their own, allowing who they really work for to be seen,” she wrote.
Her message alluded to the government’s controversial “hugs, not bullets” security strategy, which favors addressing the root causes of violence with social programs over simply combating criminal organizations with force.
Rangel’s original tweet also irked lawmakers with the ruling Morena party in the Mexico City Congress. Deputy Miriam Valeria Cruz Flores presented a document in Congress that called on the PAN lawmaker to not engage in hate speech against anyone, including accused and convicted criminals.
“The Mexico City Congress urges the Deputy América Alejandra Rangel Lorenzana to comply with the constitutional mandate … that obliges her to promote, respect, protect and guarantee human rights in accordance with the principles of universality, interdependence, indivisibility and progressiveness,” the document said.
Rangel responded to the advice by tweeting that Morena deputies “have never raised their voices to defend a victim or condemn a crime,” but they defend the “poor little criminals I called ‘beasts.’”
Rangel responded to the president’s criticism by calling him a coward.
Como era de esperarse, @lopezobrador_ se enojó mucho de que llamé “bestias” a sus socios y protegidos, los pobrecitos delincuentes.
Pero se lo repito: los asesinos, violadores y secuestradores son bestias que no merecen ningún abrazo y sí toda la fuerza del Estado.
— América Rangel (@AmerangelLorenz) August 22, 2022
Among the other critics of Rangel’s “beasts” claim was Saskia Niño de Rivera, president of Reinserta, a civil society organization that helps ex-prisoners reintegrate into society.
“If this is the opposition, we’re screwed,” she wrote on Twitter above an image of the lawmaker’s tweet. “… Unquestionably, the politician doesn’t understand the reality of our people.”