Videgaray at the Senate yesterday. Videgaray at the Senate yesterday.

MX will turn to UN if human rights violated

Foreign Affairs Secretary reports to Senate; says talks should consider workers' salaries

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration will not hesitate to turn to the United Nations if the human rights of Mexicans are violated by the government of the United States, the Foreign Affairs Secretary said yesterday.

Luis Videgaray also said during an appearance before the Senate that trade talks with the U.S. must consider mechanisms to increase Mexican workers’ salaries.

The secretary, reporting on talks held last week with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, stressed that he has made it clear to representatives of the U.S. government that there are several non-negotiable points on the table.

“First, the human rights of Mexicans in the United States should be respected,” he said, noting that the topic has already been raised during meetings with the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mexico’s chief diplomat said his office has also expressly rejected, in private and in public, the enforcement outside the U.S. of decrees by President Donald Trump, as well as the militarization of operations against migrants. Nor will Mexico receive deportees who are not Mexican.

Another issue for Mexico is the ability of volunteer repatriates and deportees to access their social security savings in the U.S. Videgaray said his office has requested that priority be given to an agreement signed in 2004, but not yet enacted, that would allow that access.

Touching on upcoming negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, Videgaray said the negotiations should take into account the need to increase workers’ salaries.

“With regard to free trade, any modification to the treaty should contribute to raising salaries in Mexico.”

He said it was not right to promote a regional trade integration project that only attracts foreign investment to Mexico for its cheap labor.

“We should include Mexican workers in the prosperity that globalization implies,” he said, and do away with a model whose economic performance relies on low salaries in Mexico.

He reiterated the federal administration’s desire to maintain a comprehensive and collaborative relationship with the United States, as long as threats and insults are set aside.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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