MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized YouTube on Sunday night time after the tech firm eliminated the video of a information convention during which the chief revealed the non-public phone variety of the New York Occasions’ Mexico bureau chief.

The platform mentioned the video had violated their insurance policies on harassment and cyberbullying. It later republished an edited model with out the reporter’s non-public data.

In response, Lopez Obrador accused the platform of censorship and mentioned it was performing with an overbearing and authoritarian angle.

The message was accompanied by an image of the Statue of Liberty, which he mentioned had grow to be a “empty image.” YouTube didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

On Thursday, Lopez Obrador learn aloud a letter from the Occasions requesting touch upon a narrative reporters had been getting ready a few shelved U.S. authorities investigation into allegations that his allies met with and took hundreds of thousands of {dollars} from drug cartels after he took workplace in 2018.

Then he learn the telephone variety of Occasions’ bureau chief. The identical day, Mexico’s freedom of knowledge physique INAI mentioned it was initiating an investigation into his revealing the quantity.

After the information convention, the Occasions issued an announcement that known as it “a troubling and unacceptable tactic from a world chief”.

Making public a journalist’s non-public telephone quantity is especially worrisome in Mexico, some of the harmful nations on the planet for reporters exterior of conflict zones, particularly for Mexican journalists investigating prison gangs and widespread corruption.

Lopez Obrador regularly assaults the information media throughout his each day press conferences.

“She is slandering us and if she may be very apprehensive, then she ought to change her telephone quantity,” Lopez Obrador instructed reporters after the video was launched. “Above the non-public knowledge safety regulation, there may be the dignity of the president.”

Within the days that adopted, social media customers printed the non-public numbers of one in all Lopez Obrador’s sons and each candidates for the nation’s June presidential race, Claudia Sheinbaum from the president’s MORENA celebration and rival Xochitl Galvez.

Galvez mentioned that she had gotten a flood of messages since her quantity was printed – each essential and supporting – and that she wouldn’t change it.

MORENA’s New York committee protested exterior the Occasions’ workplace in New York Metropolis on Sunday afternoon.

The New York Occasions story in query, printed simply after Lopez Obrador revealed the reporter’s telephone quantity, famous that the USA by no means opened a proper investigation and that officers in the end shelved the inquiry.

Lopez Obrador denied all accusations and mentioned it was “fully false.”

That story got here on the heels of different latest reporting from different media shops a few totally different U.S. investigation into attainable collusion between a drug cartel and Lopez Obrador associates to simply accept cash for his 2006 presidential marketing campaign in trade for leniency.

Lopez Obrador has denied these accusations, calling them slander, and responded by saying the journalist who broke the story was a “mercenary within the service” of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which carried out the investigation.

Considerations about media security have remained constant all through Lopez Obrador’s presidency. In January, the theft of the non-public knowledge of tons of of journalists in Mexico, together with addresses and copies of voter ID playing cards and passports, raised recent worries.

Worldwide free-speech group Article 19 has documented 163 journalist murders in Mexico since 2000.

(Reporting by Sarah Kinosian. Modifying by Gerry Doyle)

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