President Andrés Manuel López Obrador condemned on Tuesday threats to kill a national television news anchor made by masked men in a video claiming to be Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel.
They made the threat for what they viewed as unfair coverage.
“We do not condone these types of actions and we are going to protect Azucena and we are going to protect all Mexicans,” said López Obrador.
The video, circulated on Monday, showed masked and heavily armed men surrounding a man seated at a small desk who delivered a message he said was from Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, aka “El Mencho”, leader of the Jalisco New Generation cartel. It was unclear if the person reading the message was Oseguera himself.
The message complained that Milenio Television, a national cable news channel associated with a major newspaper chain, was favoring so-called self-defense groups that are battling the Jalisco cartel in Michoacan state.
He singled out Milenio anchor Azucena Uresti, threatening to kill her and make her “eat her words.”
The Jalisco cartel representative said in the message that he did not want to inhibit freedom of expression, but just wanted the coverage to be even.
Milenio Television said in a statement late Monday that Uresti had its total support, as did other journalists. It demanded a rapid investigation that guaranteed Uresti’s safety and denied that it had ever favored any group in its coverage.
Threats against journalists are not empty talk in Mexico. The Committee to Protect Journalists considers Mexico the deadliest country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists.
CJP’s representative in Mexico Jan-Albert Hootsen said they take the threat very seriously adding, “we know that the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel has the capacity to do actions of extreme violence even in Mexico City.”
In June 2020, Jalisco cartel gunmen carried out a brazen attack in Mexico City that left the police chief seriously wounded and killed three others.