Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador has captured fans in and out of the country by appealing to the everyday person. He refuses to fly in the presidential jet and travels around the country with a small security staff. But even the most progressive man in Mexico seems to have an issue with sexism.
This week, footage surfaced of AMLO refusing to answer a question from a female reporter. Instead of giving a response, the president-elect leaned in and kissed reporter Lorena García. Several outlets have reported it was a kiss on the cheek, but the video doesn’t make it clear. Regardless, the reporter didn’t consent and AMLO diminished her professionalism. Therefore, the incident has caused much controversy in Mexico.
In an interview, Lorena explained that nothing like this had ever happened in her 19-year career. “Yes, it bothers me, because there is a certain violation of my personal space,” she said.
This isn’t the first time AMLO has been under fire for his behavior toward female reporters. Last week, reporters swarmed AMLO’s press conference to ask about his support for former Chiapas governor Manuel Velasco’s attempt to return to office. Instead of giving an answer, the president-elect told the female reporters, “You are all sweethearts, I appreciate you a lot.” The reporters took offense at the statement.
In another instance, AMLO responded to female reporters outside of his house, calling them sweethearts again. “I’m not talking about that, sweetheart,” he said, as reporters swarmed his car in search of answers.
Many feminists groups have taken action against the president-elect because of his sexist remarks. Regina Tamés, director of the Grupo de Información de Reproducción Elegida, told Animal Político that AMLO would have never addressed male reporters the same way. “It’s a shame that so many women voted for him, a man who calls himself a leftist but continues to repeat the normalized patterns of misogyny in our society,” Tamés said.