19 de mayo de 2019
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Hispanic World

Ex-officials used public money to pay for plastic surgery, AMLO says

Mexico City, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that his administration would stay focused on government austerity and criticized former officials for using Mexican taxpayers' funds to pay for such things as plastic surgery.

Mexico City, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that his administration would stay focused on government austerity and criticized former officials for using Mexican taxpayers' funds to pay for such things as plastic surgery.

"No one talks about this. They paid for plastic surgeries with the people's money. They stretched their skin to look younger," the president said as he stretched his face with his fingers to imitate a face lift.

"They paid with the (country's) budget, I have proof," Lopez Obrador, the founder and leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), said during his daily press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.

The president discussed his "Republican austerity plan," which calls for the elimination of the "privileges" enjoyed by government officials.

Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, said that prior administrations spent 5 billion pesos (about $270 million) a year on private medical care for government officials, including cosmetic surgery, something that Lopez Obrador ended.

AMLO said that he also eliminated the government's savings bank, where public officials could deposit a percentage of their salary for the government to match and then return to them when they leave office.

"These (privileges) no longer exist. In the next presidential report in June, I am going to list all of this, how privileges were eliminated," Lopez Obrador said.

AMLO spoke once again about his relationship with the press and his statements on Monday when he urged journalists to be "reasonable" and claimed his "right to respond."

"I said I was going to exercise my right to respond and it was misinterpreted when I said that everyone is responsible for their actions and dialogue should be a two-way street," AMLO said, adding that he regretted that his remarks had been confused with "threats."

Finally, given that it is Holy Week, he was asked if he will grant radio and television licenses to religious congregations, even though Mexico is a secular country.

"We are going to see if there's any space or time available for churches and everything having to do with the dissemination of religious messages," AMLO said.

According to AMLO, secularism "means not having a preference for a religion."

Despite his point of view, he requested a report from the Government Secretariat to evaluate the pros and cons of this decision from a legal point of view.

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López Obrador: Exfuncionarios pagaban cirugías plásticas con dinero público

México, 16 abr (EFE).- El presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, reivindicó este martes su plan de austeridad gubernamental y acusó a funcionarios de anteriores gobiernos de incluso pagarse operaciones de cirugía plástica con dinero público.

"De esto no se habla. Se hacían hasta cirugía plástica a costillas del erario público. Hasta se estiraban y por eso parecía que estaban más jóvenes", dijo el presidente mientras se estiraba la piel de los pómulos para simular un 'lifting'.

El también líder del izquierdista Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) añadió: "Se pagaban del presupuesto, tengo pruebas".

En su conferencia de prensa matutina desde Palacio Nacional, López Obrador reivindicó su "plan de austeridad republicana" mediante el cual se eliminan "privilegios" de los funcionarios públicos.

Detalló que los anteriores gobiernos dedicaban anualmente 5.000 millones de pesos (unos 270 millones de dólares) para la atención médica privada de los funcionarios, que incluía cirugías estéticas, algo que López Obrador ha suprimido.

También dijo haber suprimido la caja de ahorros gubernamental, a la cual los funcionarios públicos depositaban una cantidad de su salario que el gobierno duplicaba y que se llevaban cuando dejaban el cargo.

"Todo esto ya no existe. En el próximo informe presidencial de junio voy a puntualizar todo esto. Cómo se eliminaron los privilegios", expresó López Obrador.

Asimismo, el presidente habló de nuevo de su relación con la prensa y sus declaraciones del lunes, en los que instó a ser "prudentes" a los periodistas y reivindicó su "derecho a réplica".

"Yo dije que iba a ejercer mi derecho a réplica y se tomó como una represalia (cuando dije) que cada quien era responsable de sus actos y el diálogo era circular", apuntó el mandatario, que lamentó que sus palabras se confundieron con "amenazas".

Una reportera le habló de la reciente muerte por cáncer del periodista Alejandro Acuña.

De acuerdo la reportera -aunque el suceso también apareció en algunos medios de comunicación en días antes- Acuña no pudo participar en la conferencia matutina desde Palacio Nacional porque personal de comunicación social de Presidencia se lo impidió.

"No estaba enterado, y lamento que haya fallecido", apuntó el mandatario, quien emitió una "disculpa post mortem".

En otros asuntos, fue preguntado sobre la reforma educativa que impulsada por su antecesor, Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), ahora pretende cancelar en medio de presiones de maestros que le acusan de solo "maquillar" la normativa, y no derogarla.

Anunció que este miércoles presentará un memorándum al ministerio de Educación, Gobernación y Hacienda "donde les instruyo para que busquen la manera de que quede sin efecto la mal llamada reforma educativa".

Afirmó que, de la reforma anterior, solo se mantendrá el control de plazas para evitar que se trafique con ellas.

Ante la falta de pagos a médicos residentes -que llevó este lunes a un paro parcial en decenas de hospitales durante varios horas- dijo que había instruido a que se solucionara el tema en todos los estados antes de que acabar esta semana.

Finalmente, en plena Semana Santa, se le preguntó sobre si mantenía su idea de concesionar estaciones de radio y televisión a congregaciones religiosas, pese a que el Estado mexicano es considerado laico.

"Vamos a buscar la manera de ver si es posible que se puedan destinar espacios y tiempos para las iglesias y todo lo que tiene que ver con la difusión de mensajes religiosos", dijo.

Para él, continuó, el laicismo "significa no tener preferencia por una religión".

Pese a su punto de vista, indicó que ha pedido un informe a la Secretaría de Gobernación (Segob) para evaluar los pros y contras de tomar esta decisión, también desde el punto de vista legal.

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