President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), and its director, Raúl Padilla López, for inviting opposition writers and intellectuals to his government.
Speaking about his differences with the governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, he assured that he “gets along very well” with Padilla López, also a former voter at the University of Guadalajara,
“He belongs to this block of conservatives, he gets along very well with the leader of the University of Guadalajara, a historical leader, Padilla. Look, the Guadalajara Book Fair, the last ones, dedicated against us, but not only that, because they bring Vargas Llosa, there Aguilar Camín and all of them, Krauze,” He said at his morning conference.
Last October, the president of the FIL received the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 2020, where he called for defending freedom of printing “against populist governments that today threaten our liberal heritage and jeopardize democracy”, which was resumed by López Obrador.
“I was very struck by a line: ‘We must defend the book from populism.’ But it is the decline, but not only of Mexico, of universities, of intellectuality, of which these awards are awarded,” he criticized.
He also commissioned reporters to do “an investigation since when this gentleman commands at the University of Guadalajara”.
Thinkers from all currents participate: FIL
Following the president’s words, the FIL said it was an initiative that encouraged the circulation of ideas and reasoned dialogue.
“Throughout more than three decades, authors, thinkers and public figures from all countries, all ideological currents and all political adscriptions have had room,” he said.
The FIL named characters who have participated in its editions and who are also related to the government of López Obrador as María Elena Alvarez Buylla (current holder of the National Council of Science and Technology); Sabina Berman, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Tatiana Clouthier, Mario Delgado, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, Elena Poniatowska, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas (spokesman of the federal government), Olga Sánchez Cordero (secretary of the Governorate), Paco Ignacio Taibo II (designated holder of the Fund for Economic Culture), among others.
He also said that the recognition made to fil and given to Raúl Padilla López “is a recognition of the vigour of Mexican culture and an acicate for our work”.
“The president of FIL Guadalajara called for ‘culture is an investment, never an expense’. The defense of professional cultural production and its decent financing is the mission of the cultural institutions, which we make our own”, the fair, which is considered a “strong defender of the book”, as well as “pluralism, freedoms, diversity and the right to dissent”, said.
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