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13 Mar, 2022 12:38

President says his country is ‘pacifist,’ unlike EU

Mexican president says he supports dialogue, not war, and, unlike the EU, his country doesn’t send weapons to Kiev
President says his country is ‘pacifist,’ unlike EU

Mexico has delivered a harsh rebuke to the European Parliament after it adopted a resolution condemning the rhetoric of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador regarding journalists.

“Know, Members of the European Parliament, that Mexico is no longer a land of conquest,” said the letter published by the Mexican government on Thursday, referring to the country’s colonial past. The statement, which compared MEPs to “sheep,” has rejected EU criticism of Mexico’s human rights record.

“No one here is oppressed, freedom of expression and the work of journalists is respected. The state does not violate human rights, like the previous government did, when you, by the way, stayed silent.”

The nation also defended its stance on the Russian attack on Ukraine. “Mexico is a pacifist country that chose non-violence, and we are in favor of dialogue, not war; we don’t send weapons to any country under any circumstances, as you are doing now.”

Many Western countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, and EU member states, imposed a series of sanctions on Russia after it attacked Ukraine on February 24. The US and EU pledged to fund military aid to Kiev, while individual states supplied the country with weapons, such as portable anti-tank missile systems.

By contrast, President Lopez Obrador said this month that Mexico will not impose sanctions on Russia, or send weapons to Ukraine. Lopez Obrador told the Mexican media that he had written the letter himself, accusing the European Parliament of “slander.”

On Tuesday, MEPs adopted a resolution condemning the threats to and deaths of journalists in Mexico. They said that at least six journalists have been killed in the country so far in 2022. The European Parliament also condemned Lopez Obrador personally, urging him to “refrain from issuing any communication, which could stigmatize” media workers and human-rights campaigners.

Lopez Obrador accused some reporters of lying last month and called them “thugs, mercenaries, sellouts,” according to AP. His comments were condemned by the Inter American Press Association.

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.