Accuracy in Media

Another migrant caravan, following on the heels of migrant caravans in 2018 and 2019, is attempting to make its way from Central America, through Mexico, and to the United States-Mexico border. But, instead of traveling through Mexico mostly unopposed like the past two caravans, this year’s migrant caravan was stopped by Mexican authorities at its southern border.

An estimated 4,000 people were participating in the migrant caravan and were stopped at the Mexico-Guatemala border by Mexican National Guard troops. The Mexican government reached an agreement with United States President Donald Trump to stem the tide of migrants through Mexico to their shared border. So far, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has fulfilled his promise with the United States government, but it did not make him immune from mainstream media criticism.

National Public Radio portrayed the migrants’ pleas favorably, including how the migrants wrote a letter pleading with Lopez Obrador to “open his heart and open the border gates.” It criticized the use of force by Mexican authorities, which included “corralling and pushing them back towards the river…used riot shields and tear gas.”

Reuters blamed the Mexican authorities for the clash, saying that the “chaotic scramble” led to “mothers separated from their young children” during the violent confrontation. Government sources told Reuters that they “had no reports of children going missing amid the clashes,” directly contradicting Reuters’s claim. The news outlet went further and said that Lopez Obrador is “at the bidding of his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump,” therefore insinuating Lopez Obrador was a puppet of the United States government.

Although both NPR and Reuters acknowledged how migrants threw rocks at the Mexican National Guard, both outlets saved most of their outrage for the Mexican government. Their criticism of Mexico’s tough immigration stance ignored how every sovereign country has a right to enforce its immigration laws and cooperate with allies (such as the United States) to do so.

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