Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Donald Trump in Washington DC on July 8, 2020.Win McNamee (Getty Images)

Andrés Manuel López Obrador gave Donald Trump a boost in the face of speculation about his arrest for the case stormy daniels. The Mexican president repeated the statements made by the former president of the United States last weekend, without providing further evidence, that he would be accused and arrested for a secret payment to the porn star to buy his silence about an alleged romance before the elections in 2016. We are not sucking our finger, it is so that it does not appear on the ballot”, assured López Obrador at a press conference this Tuesday. The president said that he also suffered “the fabrication of a crime” with the aim of diminishing his political aspirations. “It’s completely undemocratic,” he added.

“The people are not allowed to decide”, has accused López Obrador from the southern state of Oaxaca, where he is expected to head a ceremony for the birth of former president Benito Juárez, together with John Kerry, the special advisor of the White House against him climate change. Mexico’s president lamented that a “love affair” is being used to politically attack his former US counterpart.

Trump raised the specter of an attack on the Capitol when, on January 6, 2021, his supporters stormed the offices of Congress after a rally called by him in Washington, and again called on his supporters to “reclaim the nation”. The former president released a newspaper leak that he should be arrested and blamed “a highly politicized and corrupt Manhattan district attorney” “whose leader is financed by George Soros”.

“With no wrongdoing to prove, and based on an old fairy tale and fully debunked (by several other prosecutors!), the highest ranked Republican candidate by far [a las elecciones presidenciales de 2024] and the former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week”, wrote the former president on the social network Truth Social, where he has more than five million followers. Daniels claimed that Trump paid him $130,000 in exchange for not talking about an affair they had in 2006, when he was already married to his wife Melania, so as not to affect his presidential campaign.

López Obrador’s statements came a day after the State Department published a report on the situation of human rights in the country, in which the ministry headed by Anthony Blinken denounced torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings committed by Mexican police agents. The government’s conflicted relationship with the press is also noted, despite the fact that the organization Artigo 19 has documented that 12 journalists were murdered in 2022, marking the highest number since records began in 2000. “Politicians, including President López Obrador, discredit and question critical journalists to portray them as biased, partisan and corrupt,” the report reads.

López Obrador has had several clashes with Blinken, whom he accuses of meddling in the internal politics of the Latin American country and of financing his critics. “There is more democracy in Mexico than in the United States,” said the Mexican president in early March, when the Secretary of State criticized his electoral reform. The Mexican government has been embroiled in recent weeks in a crossroads of accusations with conservative politicians from the radical wing of the Republican Party, who accuse Mexico of “not doing enough” to stop the drug cartels. In the struggle, it also opened fronts with the DEA, the US anti-narcotics agency, by directing its actions towards Mexico. Despite everything, the president has insisted that the relationship with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, is in good health.

“Trump really liked López Obrador,” said Martha Bárcena, Mexico’s ambassador to Washington from December 2018 to February 2021, in an interview with this newspaper last November. “López Obrador got along well with Trump because they have similar characters despite having very different political positions,” added Bárcena. Despite the anti-Mexican speech during his campaign and his presidency, the republican politician did not hide his sympathy for the Latin American president. “He’s a socialist, but he’s not a bad person, I like him,” he said at a rally last August. “He’s a capitalist and he’s not perfect, but he’s a good person,” López Obrador retorted in November. With Biden, the relationship is cordial, but more formal and distant, say diplomatic sources.

Prosecutors have avoided responding to statements by Trump, who accused Biden of wanting to remove him from the presidential race next year. The United States is on hold as the legal situation of the most controversial president in recent times is clarified.

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