Mexico's government science board has told researchers they cannot publicly criticize the agency, the Associated Press reports.
It adds that Mexico's National Council on Science and Technology has been increasingly politicized. Last month, it worked with prosecutors who were seeking to jail 31 academics on organized crime and money laundering charges, as the Wall Street Journal then reported. The prosecutors alleged that the academics, who are part of an independent advisory panel to the council, improperly spent $12 million of government funds, though the panel members say their expenditures were audited and approved, the Journal added. It noted that a judge had twice denied the petition.
This move, the AP notes, was widely criticized, with critics calling it a threat to academic freedom.
According to the AP, the new rules now say that council employees and outside researchers should "avoid negative opinions or commentaries" about the council. It adds that a letter accompanying the rules from María Álvarez-Buylla, the council director, further tries to insert President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's political movement into the science board.