Monday, March 4, 2024

Ebrard launches campaign to defend Mexico’s reputation in US

Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard has instructed Mexico’s ambassador and consuls in the United States to begin a campaign in defense of Mexico in light of the “unacceptable attacks” on the country by Republican Party lawmakers and ex-officials.

Ebrard met with Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma and 52 Mexican consuls at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. on Monday.

Mexico's Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Mexico's diplomats in the U.S.
Ebrard asked Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma and all U.S. consuls to hold informative meetings with the Mexican community and political actors, and to submit a weekly report. (SRE)

“We are not going to allow Mexico to be pushed around,” the foreign minister told the diplomats, according to an English-language press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE).

Ebrard, the statement said, told Moctezuma and the consuls “to begin a widespread information campaign in defense of our country after the unacceptable attacks by legislators and former officials of the Republican Party.”

“In order to prevent a narrative based on lies that harms our country … gain[ing] force,” the SRE statement said, “… Ebrard asked the ambassador and consuls to hold informative meetings with the Mexican community and political actors, and to submit a weekly report.”

“At the request of the consuls, informational materials will be made available at the consulates and provided to the local media,” it added.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is at the forefront of a group of Republicans calling for the United States to declare Mexican cartels foreign terrorist organizations, setting up justification for military attacks on cartels inside Mexico.

 

Ebrard’s instruction to diplomats came after Senator Lindsey Graham said he would introduce legislation to “set the stage to use military force if necessary to protect America from being poisoned by things coming out of Mexico” and former attorney general William Barr expressed support for Congressman Dan Crenshaw’s proposal for the U.S. armed forces to be used against cartels in Mexico.

“America can no longer tolerate narco-terrorist cartels. Operating from havens in Mexico, their production of deadly drugs on an industrial scale is flooding our country with this poison. The time is long past to deal with this outrage decisively,” Barr wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Other Republicans have also advocated the use of the U.S. military to combat Mexican criminal organizations such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel.

President López Obrador threatened last week to launch an “information campaign” in the United States so that Mexican residents “know about this treachery, this aggression from the Republicans toward Mexico.”

Mexico's Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard in Acapulco
At an event in Acapulco on Sunday, Ebrard told audiences that U.S. forces would only be sent to Mexico “over my dead body.” (Marcelo Ebrard/Twitter)

“If they continue with this attitude we’ll insist that not one vote from Mexicans, from Hispanics, [is cast in favor of the Republican Party],” he said.

According to the SRE statement, Ebrard and the U.S.-based diplomats “reviewed the recent attacks by several legislators and former Republican Party officials, who have sought to blame Mexico for the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. and who have in some cases gone to the extreme of proposing that the U.S. intervene in our country.”

However, Mexico has in fact been “the United States’ main ally in the fight against fentanyl”, Ebrard said.

“Proof of this is that, so far in this administration, Mexico has seized a record amount of the drug — more than six tonnes — that has prevented hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly doses of fentanyl [reaching the United States],” Ebrard said, adding that the fight against fentanyl has cost the lives of hundreds of Mexican security force members.

“With this cost in human lives, how is it that these men dare to question our commitment or, even worse, to call for intervention in our country?” the foreign minister said.

At an event in Acapulco on Sunday, Ebrard declared that U.S. forces would only be sent to Mexico “over my dead body.”

Mexican military seizing fentanyl and crystal meth
Mexico has been the U.S.’ “main ally in the fight against fentanyl,” Ebrard told the convened diplomats on Monday, and said it has prevented hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly doses of fentanyl from reaching the United States. (Cuartoscuro)

“We will never allow the force of another country, whoever it may be, to be used in our territory,” he said.

On Monday, Ebrard said that Mexico and the United States are working within the framework of the bilateral Bicentennial Framework to combat fentanyl trafficking and associated deaths as well as arms trafficking.

He also noted that Mexican and U.S. security officials would meet in Washington next month to identify additional ways to cooperate in the fight against arms and fentanyl trafficking.

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