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Mexico Rattled by President's Handshake

Andrés Manuel López Obrador traveled to El Chapo's hometown, greeted his mother
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2020 3:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mexicans may not want to imitate the behavior of their president. Just one day after the country's deputy health minister urged the population to stay at home, Andrés Manuel López Obrador traveled to Badiraguato, well known as the birthplace of El Chapo. He made his visit on Sunday, which also happened to be the 30th birthday of the former drug kingpin's son. Once there, video captured him approaching El Chapo's 91-year-old mother as she sat in her car and shaking her hand. Reuters reports he's then heard saying he received her letter. The AP reports the letter was one apparently sent last month that asks permission for her to be able to enter the US to visit her son.

It adds that López Obrador was asked about bucking social distancing practices with the handshake and replied by saying it was the respectful thing to do. "It's very difficult humanly. I'm no a robot." In another scene captured on video, a man known as a rep for the Guzmán family puts his arm around the president. The Guardian notes that the leader "has been widely criticized for his lackadaisical response to coronavirus," and was catching flack for having an apparent connection with the family. (Read more Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stories.)

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