Mexican President Attacks New York Times

Mexico’s president, who has a reputation for attacking journalists and the press, in late February released the contact information for the local bureau chief from the New York Times, The Hill reported.

During his daily press conference on February 22, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador displayed on a large screen the contact information for New York Times bureau chief Natalie Kitroeff. Kitroeff heads up the Times’ reporting for Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Kitroeff had sent a request for comment to López Obrador’s spokesman Jesús Ramírez Cuevas on a report the Times was writing on allegations of possible ties between associates of López Obrador and criminal drug cartels.

The president displayed the request that also included Kitroeff’s phone number on the large screen and proceeded to read it word-for-word with added commentary. He even read aloud Kitroeff’s contact information.

Nicole Taylor, a spokeswoman for the New York Times blasted the Mexican president for revealing Kitroeff’s details, saying in a statement that at a time when journalists are facing a rise in threats, the tactic by López Obrador was “unacceptable” and “troubling.”

Taylor said that the report Kitroeff sought comment for had since been published and the Times stood by its reporting “and the journalists who pursue the facts where they lead.”

According to the New York Times report, which appeared just hours after the Mexican president’s press conference, federal law enforcement had been investigating allegations that López Obrador’s allies had been taking money from drug cartels throughout his presidency.

The Justice Department and the FBI have never formally opened an investigation into the matter, concluding that the federal government had little interest in pursuing allegations against one of its top allies, the Times reported.

López Obrador said the allegations were “completely false.”

The video of López Obrador’s press conference was removed from YouTube for violating its policy on bullying and harassment.