President López Obrador has called on the United States to impose an exemplary punishment against the perpetrator of the August 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people including eight Mexicans were killed.
López Obrador relayed his message through United States Ambassador Christopher Landau, who presented his credentials to the president on Monday.
Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said López Obrador also called on U.S. President Donald Trump to speak out every day against hateful and xenophobic attitudes and acts against migrants.
Ebrard said the president told Landau that the government is watching the El Paso case very closely and that it believes that a punishment must be imposed that acts as a deterrent against similar crimes. However, López Obrador said earlier this month that he was opposed to the death penalty being imposed.
“. . . Justice must be served,” Ebrard said, “but there also needs to be a wider declaration . . . that this conduct, these attitudes, are not tolerated.”
“The ambassador said he understood [Mexico’s] position perfectly,” the foreign secretary said, adding that Landau told him and the president that the United States government has already unequivocally denounced racially-motivated violence.
Ebrard said the message conveyed to the ambassador was: “. . . OK, do it every day, do it more and in this case [the El Paso massacre] set an example with what you do.”
According to an affidavit filed by the El Paso Police Department, the 21-year-old suspect told officers that he targeted Mexicans, while in a manifesto published online the alleged shooter said he was carrying out the attack in “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Ebrard said that he and the president also told Landau that the government remains interested in extraditing the accused killer, explaining that Mexico will attempt to do so if the United States doesn’t bring terrorism charges against the man.
On a more cordial note, Ebrard said that Landau indicated that Trump wants a good relationship with Mexico and very much respects the country.
In response, “the president . . . told him that we are seeking, within an environment of mutual respect, to continue making progress in our relationship,” the foreign secretary said.
Ebrard said that ratification of the new North American trade deal, the tomato war between Mexico and the United States and the development plan for Central America were also discussed at the meeting.
With regard to migration, Ebrard said that he and the president explained to the ambassador that the movement of people to the northern border has been reduced since Mexico and the United States struck an agreement in June that ended a threat from Trump to impose escalating tariffs on all Mexican imports.
In exchange, Mexico agreed to step up enforcement against undocumented migrants and to accept the return of all asylum seekers that passed through the country as they await the outcome of their claims in the United States.
Ebrard said that he will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington D.C. on September 10 to discuss the migration situation and the implementation of development programs in Central America.
Source: Reforma (sp)