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Mexico president鈥檚 son, presidential candidate denounce leak of phone numbers, say threats received

FILE - Mexican President Andres Manuel Obrador delivers a speech on economic figures, in Mexico City, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

FILE - Mexican President Andres Manuel Obrador delivers a speech on economic figures, in Mexico City, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

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MEXICO CITY (AP) 鈥 The eldest son of Mexico鈥檚 president and the governing party鈥檚 presidential candidate said Saturday that their telephone numbers were published on social media and that they have received threats and insults. Both denounced the action.

The incident came a day after President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador disclosed the phone number of a reporter for The New York Times, which published a story about a U.S. probe into claims that L贸pez took money from drug traffickers. L贸pez Obrador denied the allegations.

The first to report the release of his phone number was the president鈥檚 oldest son, Jos茅 Ram贸n L贸pez Beltr谩n, who wrote on the X platform that he considered the action 鈥渁 kind of vengeance鈥 and said it puts his family in danger.

It wasn鈥檛 immediately clear who made the number public. L贸pez Beltr谩n said the incident began with a letter that contained 鈥渢hreats and lies鈥 directed at the president and his sons. He did not elaborate.

On Saturday, Mexico鈥檚 president told reporters that it was 鈥渆mbarrassing for them to act that way,鈥 referring to everyone involved.

He spoke while visiting the city of Mazatlan and once again criticized The New York Times report, saying, 鈥淲e are not taking a single step back in the defense of liberty and justice.鈥

L贸pez Beltr谩n said it was the second time that his phone number has been published and noted he also has been harassed by cameras and drones everywhere he has lived.

L贸pez Beltr谩n also blamed the New York Times reporter, Natalie Kitroeff, for her phone number being made public, saying she provided the number 鈥渢hinking that the president would respond to her slander.鈥

Hours later, the presidential candidate of L贸pez Obrador鈥檚 Morena party, Claudia Sheinbaum, as well as the party鈥檚 secretary general, Citlalli Hern谩ndez, announced that their numbers also had been leaked and that they were receiving offensive calls and messages.

鈥淚t鈥檚 obvious what they want to do, again their attacks are as crude as they are harmless,鈥 Sheinbaum said on her social media account and posted a screenshot of one of the messages she received.

The leak of the phone data was condemned by Adri谩n Alcal谩, head of the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data, an autonomous body that guarantees access to information and the protection of personal data in Mexico.

Alcal谩 said on his X account that the body would seek to ensure the right to the protection of personal data in Mexico.

L贸pez Obrador on Friday defended his release of Kitroeff鈥檚 number despite local regulations on the protection of personal data.

鈥淎bove that law is moral authority and political authority, and I represent a country and I represent a people who deserve respect,鈥 the president said.

Alcal谩 objected to those comments, telling L贸pez Obrador that no one in Mexico is above the law, including the president and all other public officials.

鈥淲e regret that the Presidency does not warn how serious the disclosure of information by any person can be, especially by a journalist,鈥 Alcal谩 said on X.

L贸pez Obrador has questioned the need for Alcal谩's agency on several occasions, and this month he presented an initiative in Congress to eliminate it and other autonomous agencies.