On February 8th, 2023, activist Angelita León was murdered while working at a beauty salon in Tecate, Mexico. León was the president of the search collective “Unión Y Fuerza Por Nuestros Desaparecidos Tecate,” which looked for her missing sister, who disappeared in 2018.
León had requested protection from authorities multiple times due to death threats she received related to her search efforts. Local authorities provided some security, but she did not follow through with a federal protection program after initially requesting it.
The Murder and Investigation
Armed individuals entered the salon and opened fire on León, killing her. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that “the local authorities took charge” of the investigation and “we have already identified the alleged perpetrator, and it is a matter that we have to see calmly, not to advance anything, but everything indicates that there is no relation to what she was doing to search for a missing sister in 2018.”
Reaction from the President
In his daily press briefing, AMLO conveyed sympathy regarding León’s murder. “The local authorities took charge, we have everything, and we have already identified the alleged perpetrator, and it is a matter that we have to see calmly, not to advance anything, but everything indicates that there is no relation to what she was doing to search for a missing sister in 2018′′, said the president.
He indicated that while León had protection from local authorities and even requested federal protection at one point, “she did not continue with the process.”
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Accusations Against the Media Organization ProPublica
AMLO accused the media outlet ProPublica of being “linked to the U.S. government.” He based this on their response to questions about not revealing confidential sources in a past report allegedly linking AMLO to drug money in his first presidential campaign.
AMLO was heavily critical, stating, “What they responded to now shows that they are linked to the U.S. government, that it is not independent journalism, they say that the DEA asked them not to reveal their sources, and they listened to them.”
He elaborated that such media outlets receive government money to judge corruption internationally. However, “they ran into a wall here because we are not corrupt nor do we have complicit relationships with anyone, and that is why they got into trouble because I am not going to stop denouncing them.”
The President’s Eye Infection
When questioned about his eye swelling, AMLO said he contracted an infection during a recent tour in Oaxaca to inaugurate a new highway. “I think I caught it on my last dust tour. It’s called tutupiche in my homeland, but it’s nothing to worry about, according to the doctor,” he confessed.