The information war between Russia and the West is heating up to the extent that the EU blocked out alternative sources of information, making it harder for people to evaluate information from both sides of the conflict. The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the rhetoric of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador regarding journalists. But the Mexican president was swift in his response:
“Know, Members of the European Parliament, that Mexico is no longer a land of conquest,” stated a letter published by the Mexican government on Thursday, which clearly referred to the country’s colonial past. The statement, which compared MEPs to “sheep,” has rejected EU criticism of the Central American country’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 Central American 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 stepped up it’s game by bombing Ukrainian basis next to Poland and Lviv, which analysts sees as a message from Putin to NATO that he will not back down. Russia also 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.
The Mexican president merely echoes what many Americans and Europeans say: which is that sending weapons to an outnumbered opponent will only increase the hardship and bloodshed, and that the West is missing out on several windows of opportunity to negotiate a solution that are acceptable to the Russians. EU citizens did not have an opportunity to vote over military expansion, pandemic restrictions and the generous amounts of tax payer money that are being spent to buy weapons for Ukraine.