Mexican President Andr s Manuel L pez Obrador speaks at a joint press conference that took place on May 6, 2022 in the Presidential House in San Salvador, where he met his Salvadoran counterpart Nayib Bukele. MARVIN RECINOS AFP MEXICO CITY President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is facing a wave of criticism after Mexico's navy lent a military helicopter to fly in his home team's mascot during a major baseball playoff during a week of violent unrest elsewhere in the country.
Pochi, the Olmecas de Tabasco club mascot clad in a full-body turtle costume, followed military personnel from an Airbus Panther helicopter that landed in the middle of a stadium in Tabasco, surprising fans who had come to see the Mexican Baseball League game on Thursday.
Lopez Obrador criticized the decision even though it was not clear who had signed off on it.
ALSO READ: Mexico: Drought in northern state of national security
I do not agree with it, Lopez Obrador, who has prioritized austerity measures like trying to sell the country's presidential jet, told reporters at a morning press conference.
But Lopez Obrador, who hails from the nearby city of Macuspana, said he was praised for the sport and recalled his wife enjoying jets that flew over an All-Star game they attended in San Diego.
He said that you shouldn't use US planes during All-Star Games.
The navy issued a statement in the afternoon confirming the participation of an air unit, an escort, a war band, a marching band and naval personnel. It said it was pleased to participate in civic and sporting events that bring it closer to society across the country and exalt patriotic values. Various critics took to social media to attack the president after a week of violent attacks linked to organized crime.
READ MORE: Presidents of the US, Mexico to meet after summit tensions.
What a day of terror citizens have lived through, former Hidalgo governor Francisco Olvera said on Twitter, a day after deadly riots shook the border town of Juarez. Justifying it and talking about baseball. Who would become a baseball mascot so the president lends us a helicopter for our missing person search brigades? Ceci Flores, founder of an organization of mothers looking for people reported missing amid the widespread violence, asked a person who had been unable to find them.
Since 1964, more than 100,000 people have been reported missing in Mexico, the majority of which have been reported missing since 2006, when the president declared a war on drug traffickers and organized crime.