(Adds President Lopez Obrador’s comments, Moody’s Investors Service, background)

MEXICO CITY, March 5 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed on Tuesday ratings agencies were “punishing” Mexico for the neo-liberal policies of his predecessors over the past 36 years, after Standard & Poor’s (S&P) slashed the credit rating for state oil firm Pemex.

“The country is being punished for the neo-liberal policies that were implemented during the last 36 years, which were a complete failure in recent years,” said leftist populist Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1.

“It was an inefficient economic policy … Neo-liberalism in

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