Mexican president refrains from commenting on violence at US Capitol

Mexico City, Jan 7 (efe-epa).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday refused to comment on the storming of the United States Capitol building by supporters of outgoing head of state Donald Trump, saying his administration’s foreign policy adheres to the principle of non-intervention in other countries’ affairs.

“We’re not going to intervene in these affairs that concern the citizens of the United States. That’s our policy. That’s what I can say,” the president, popularly known as AMLO, said in response to a question from a reporter during his regular morning press conference at Mexico City’s National Palace.

AMLO made his remarks a day after hundreds of Trump supporters angered over alleged fraud in the Nov. 3 election stormed the Capitol while a joint session of Congress was being held to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Wednesday afternoon’s siege lasted nearly four hours, left four people dead and 14 police injured and resulted in 52 arrests.

Countries such as Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Australia, as well as the Latin American nations of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Venezuela, condemned the actions of the rioters.

But Lopez Obrador said Mexico’s constitution bars him from weighing in on Wednesday’s events.

“In reference to international conflicts, the constitution calls for the peaceful resolution of disputes. And this also should be the norm in terms of our internal (response). Therefore, we take no position (and) wish at all times for there to be peace; for democracy, which is the power of the people, to prevail; and for there to be liberty. That’s all,” the president said.

AMLO, however, did express an opinion about one aspect of the fast-evolving chain of events in the US when he alluded to the decision Wednesday night by tech giants Twitter and Facebook to lock Trump’s accounts over messages, including a video, about purported election fraud that they said provoked a risk of further violence.

Twitter lifted the suspension after the tweets in question were deleted, while Facebook said Thursday that it will ban Trump from its platform at least until Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

“Something I didn’t like yesterday about the matter of the Capitol … I don’t like censorship. I don’t like for anyone to be censored and to have their right to post a message on Twitter or ‘Face’ to be taken away,” Lopez Obrador said.

AMLO’s stance contrasted with that of the president of the Mexican Senate, Eduardo Ramirez; and the leader of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena) in the upper house, Ricardo Monreal, both of whom denounced the riots.

“We join in the widespread rejection of the storming of the Capitol by those wanting to obstruct the legislative process for the transition of power in the United States, which resulted in the loss of life. Our solidarity with the legislators, congressional staff and the American people,” Ramirez said.

AMLO also has maintained a policy of non-interference in foreign affairs in the case of Venezuela, whose embattled government, led by leftist President Nicolas Maduro, and lifeblood oil industry have faced devastating sanctions at the hands of the Trump administration.

Mexico in recent years has refrained from joining with the US and regional allies Brazil and Colombia in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido – who alleges that Maduro has remained in power via fraud – as Venezuela’s legitimate interim head of state.

That stance has provoked criticism, as have AMLO’s offers of political asylum to Bolivian ex-President Evo Morales, who fled his country in 2019 after a bitterly contested election; and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces espionage and other charges in the US over his platform’s 2010 publication of a slew of classified US government documents.

Opposition politicians also accused Lopez Obrador of aiding the re-election campaign of Trump (widely disliked in Mexico for his derogatory remarks about immigrants) with his visit to Washington in July of last year – the frugal politician’s only trip abroad so far as head of state.

AMLO, who alleged that his defeats in Mexico’s 2006 and 2012 presidential elections were marred by fraud, also faced criticism for waiting until after the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14 to recognize Biden as president-elect. EFE-EPA


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