MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday blasted European countries for adopting strict lockdowns to stem the new spread of coronavirus, suggesting they smacked of authoritarianism and double victimises the victims of the virus.
Germany, France, and Spain last Wednesday announced curfews estrictions, approaching a level similar to last spring total lockdowns, as COVID deaths across Europe surged. The strict curfews have generated protests and riots in several European countries such as Italy and Spain.
National or local authorities have already imposed nighttime curfews in several European countries, including France, Italy and the Czech Republic.
Speaking at his regular daily news conference, Lopez Obrador voiced regret at the measures being taken in Europe and urged governments to show more faith in their populations and not use coercive measures that simulates “dictatorship actions.”
“What this expresses is an authoritarian urge by the authorities, by the government, with all due respect, on the part of those who opt for this,” he said when asked if Mexico could adopt tougher measures to halt rising coronavirus cases.
“Curfews aren’t a sign of faith in people. It’s putting yourself above as authority and seeing citizens as children, like they don’t understand. Not even in its worst moments did Europe have these curfews and all these measures.”
Mexico has officially registered over 901,000 coronavirus cases and 89,800 deaths, though authorities admit the number of cases and the death toll are likely significantly lower.
The government’s Heath Departmet has warned infections are rising in some parts of Mexico and asked the public to adhere to social distancing norms and avoid large crowds as traditional celebrations near that annually attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Late last week, the northern border state of Chihuahua ran by consevative gobernor, recently involved in a despute and sabotage of a water dam shared iwth the U.S., returned to the highest phase of coronavirus alert.
President Lopez Obrador, and the secretary of health, called on Mexicans to practice personal hygiene, social distancing and act responsibly. “And no use coercive measures,” he said. “This is not resolved with that.”