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On Twitter, DiCaprio, Vaquitas, Homicides Compete for Mexican President’s Ear

Luis Gomez - San Diego Union-Tribune
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May 17, 2017

What do Leonardo DiCaprio, an endangered sea animal and the endless Mexican cartel violence that’s killing citizens and journalists have in common? They all demand Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s attention.

And none have been overlooked by him in recent days, as his Twitter account shows.

Peña Nieto on Monday took to Twitter to condemn the murder of “narco journalist” Javier Valdez whose killing that day has sparked protests and renewed calls for the country’s leader to defend the free press from violence.

In three tweets, Pena Nieto offered his condolences, promised investigative resources, and renewed his commitment to the free press.

Peña Nieto’s response to the murder of yet another Mexican journalist also follows days of intense online backlash over a series of tweets he posted in English days earlier to address DiCaprio’s call for more protection of the vaquita, an endangered mammal in the Gulf of Baja California.

Last Wednesday, DiCaprio tweeted a link to an online petition asking the Mexican president to save the last of possibly 30 vaquitas left in the world. The next day, Pena Nieto used his Twitter account to respond.

For the days that followed, Pena Nieto’s tweets were flooded with critical tweets in English and Spanish — not only for responding to a Hollywood actor’s call for help but also for his failure to address the country’s violence at the hands of drug cartels.

“They kill Miriam Rodriguez and president @EPN tweets about the marine vaquita. Leo DiCaprio comes first. Priorities,” one person tweeted in reference to a Mexican mother who was killed on Mother’s Day after seeking justice for her daughter’s murder.

“It looks to me that DiCaprio isn’t aware of the situation of the disappearances, killings, executions, corruption and violence in this country,” another wrote.

Criticism over Peña Nieto’s tweets is not new — last year, citizens condemned his softness toward Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to make Mexico pay for the border wall — but the bitter responses from Mexicans underscores the lack of faith they have in their leader.

Read the rest at San Diego Union-Tribune

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