Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador (Reuters)
MEXICO CITY: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that Mexico has complained to US officials about their alleged financing for an anticorruption group that he said has engaged in political activity against his administration.
Speaking at a news conference shortly before a scheduled online meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris, Lopez Obrador displayed tax records that appeared to show payments from the US government to Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity.
“It is an interventionist act that violated our sovereignty,” said Lopez Obrador, who announced that Mexico had filed a diplomatic note with the US embassy.
The issue arose a day earlier when a reporter from online news magazine Contralinea asked the President about its report of US financing for the anticorruption organization.
The organization has issued reports critical of some of Lopez Obrador’s major initiatives, including the cancellation of a partially built Mexico City airport and the construction of a tourist train around the Yucatan Peninsula.
In the diplomatic note shown by Lopez Obrador Friday, Mexico assures that it respects the role of civil society organizations and shares an interest in eliminating corruption, but said that people connected to the group “have been explicit in their political militancy against the government of Mexico.”
The note, dated Thursday, asked the US embassy to confirm financial support from the US agency for International Development and if so, suspend it.
The organization said Thursday via Twitter that the complaints displayed a serious misunderstanding of international cooperation. “We reiterate the absolute legality of our work,” it said, and rejected any suggestion of interventionism and asked for what it said had become constant attacks from the government to stop.
The embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lopez Obrador said he didn’t plan to raise the issue in his meeting with Harris, which he said would deal with immigration and his proposal to expand a Mexican program making cash payments to farmers who grow certain trees and to have the US expand visa opportunities to those who participate.