Attempts were made on Monday, Jan.23, by President López Obrador to debunk the claim that Alejandro Gertz Manero, the attorney general, has cancer. This rumor has recently spread among several media outlets and users of social media, Mexico News Daily reported.

Gertz Manero's absence from the North American Leaders' Summit, which was held in Mexico City from Jan. 9 to Jan. 11, sparked speculation about his health.

At first, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard said the federal prosecutor had a prior commitment and that he was not notified with enough time to change his schedule that his U.S. counterpart, Attorney General Merrick Garland, would be attending the “Three Amigos” meetup of presidents from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

But soon after, columnist Darío Celis for El Financiero revealed that Gertz Manero had been transported to an oncology facility in the United States in December and had since remained there, receiving emergency care.

"It is feared that the tumor has spread," the columnist asserted in reference to Gertz Manero's pancreatic cancer.

The president acknowledged that the federal prosecutor had back surgery in America, but he dismissed claims that the official has pancreatic cancer.

“He underwent surgery on his back, on his spine …” López Obrador said. “… So he’s at home, he’s fine, he’s recovering. He’s even working, and we wish him well,”

The president said, “it’s not cancer, according to my information, fortunately.”

There was even social media speculation that Gertz Manero had died during surgery, a fact quickly disproved by journalists who confirmed the prosecutor was at home recovering.

“There has been a lot of speculation and a very miserable attitude around this matter because I saw a tweet, and there are many, wishing him dead. You can’t wish that on anyone,” the president said.

Over the weekend, a fake official letter that said the president had begun looking into attorney general replacements also went around.

Juan Ramos López, the head of the federal crimes division of the federal Attorney General's Office (FGR), is filling in for Gertz Manero while he is away. Ramos López has long been entrusted by Gertz Manero with matters that have significant political ramifications.

President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks as part of the daily briefing at Palacio Nacional on December 16, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

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