LatinNews Daily - 04 May 2023

MEXICO: López Obrador rails against US interventionism

On 3 May, Mexico’s President Andrés Miguel López Obrador asked US President Joe Biden to stop the US government from funding organisations that he says are hostile to his own government.


López Obrador was speaking in a press conference the day after meeting with US White House Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall during which Mexico agreed to continue accepting migrants expelled from the US even after the 11 May expiry of Title 42, the federal order which originally allowed such expulsions. López Obrador appears to be making it clear that he expects something in return for Mexico’s acquiescence on the migration front. The accusations of political intervention come as tensions are already running high over alleged intervention of US security agencies in Mexico.

  • López Obrador said that the financing that the US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), was providing to organisations opposed to his government was “interventionist, contrary to international law and to the respect that should prevail between free and sovereign States”.
  • In his letter to Biden,López Obrador said USAID recently increased the budget it gave to such organisations.
  • In a press conference yesterday, pro-government journalist Ana Elizabeth García Vilchis said that among the organisations financed by the USAID were international press freedom organisation Article 19, which she said received US$2m from USAID between 2021 and 2024 and was “a tool of USAID interventionism”, as well as lobby group México Evalúa, which she said received US$3m between 2019 and 2023 and was a “strategic ally” of investigative website Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad (MCCI), another recipient of USAID funds.
  • This is not the first time that López Obrador has criticised USAID for funding such organisations, which he maintains are run by his political opponents and aim to destabilise his government, having made a similar appeal to the US in June 2021.
  • In the same press conference, López Obrador also said he had denied the US access to Mexican airspace after the Pentagon detected a suspicious balloon from Asia that it said would pass over Mexico.
  • The issue of US interventionism has caused tensions recently, with López Obrador accusing the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Pentagon of spying on Mexico and leaking confidential information to the press.

Looking Ahead: The US government has yet to respond to López Obrador’s letter.

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