Lopez Obrador, shortly before meeting with the U.S. vice president, said the money promotes a “form of coup.”
Mexico has sent a diplomatic note asking the United States to explain the funding of a critical anti-corruption group with the government, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said shortly before a planned call with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
Lopez Obrador said the formal protest was sent because of funding for Mexicans against corruption and impunity, a group that investigates political corruption. He said the group seeks to undermine its government.
“It promotes a form of coup,” said López Obrador, who described funding that includes money from the U.S. Agency for International Development, commonly known as USAID, as an affront to Mexico’s sovereignty.
“That’s why we ask (the US government) to make it clear to us. A foreign government cannot provide money to political groups, ”he said.
On its website, Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity lists USAID among its financial sponsors.
The organization has published critical reports with some of Lopez Obrador’s key initiatives, including the cancellation of a Mexico City partial airport built and the construction of a tourist train around the Yucatan Peninsula.
In a diplomatic note from Lopez Obrador on Friday, Mexico said it respected the role of civil society organizations and shared an interest in eliminating corruption, but said people related to the group “have been explicit. in its political militancy against the government of Mexico ”.
The note, dated Thursday, called on the U.S. embassy to confirm financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and, if so, to suspend it.
On Thursday, Mexicans against corruption and impunity posted on Twitter that their work was completely legal.
“We will reiterate the absolute legality of our work,” he said, rejecting any suggestion of interventionism, while calling for an end to the government’s constant attacks.
Lopez Obrador’s complaint came hours before he met virtually Friday with Harris to discuss migration and other bilateral issues.
Lopez Obrador, however, said he would not raise the issue during the meeting with Harris, who has been the main person in the Biden administration to respond to a wave of undocumented migrants on the shared U.S.-Mexico border.
During the virtual meeting, Harris and Lopez Obrador agreed to address what they called the root causes of migration from Central America: violence and corruption.