Mexico's Lopez Obrador dismisses US criticism of human rights record

Mexico's Lopez Obrador dismisses US criticism of human rights record

MEXICO CITY - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rejected criticism of his government's record on human rights, describing reports of official abuses in a new US State DepartmentState Department study as lies. The report said on Monday there were credible reports in Mexico of unlawful or arbitrary killings by police, military, and other officials, forced disappearance by government agents, and torture and inhuman treatment by security forces.

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The report noted that impunity and extremely low rates of prosecution remained a problem for all crimes, including human rights abuses and corruption, and criticized violence against journalists in Mexico.

Lopez Obrador was asked about the report at a news conference and dismissed it, saying they're lying, and saying the US believes it's the government of the world. Lopez Obrador is not worth getting angry about, that's just how they are, said Lopez Obrador, who is due to meet with former US Secretary of State John Kerry in Mexico later on Tuesday. The report is not true, they are liars. State Department acting spokesman Vedant Patel, speaking at a news conference, rejected criticism that Washington was acting like the government of the world and doubled down on the findings of the human rights report.

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The reported involvement of members of the Mexican police, military and other government institutions in serious acts of corruption and unlawful killings is a serious challenge for Mexico and was highlighted in our report, he said.

Lopez Obrador has pushed back against US criticism of his record on security, which has come under increased scrutiny since the abduction of four American citizens in northern Mexico earlier this month. Two of them were found dead later.

The leftist president, who insists he is rooting out corruption and impunity in Mexico, has argued that his country is safer than the US despite a much higher murder rate, and criticized US efforts to prevent dangerous drugs entering the United States.