Mexico ‘won’t be provoked by US’ over migrant row

Mexico 'won't be provoked by US' over migrant row

May 31, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Mexico’s president has insisted his government will not be provoked, after President Donald Trump announced escalating tariffs on all goods unless Mexico curbed illegal migration.

Successive Mexican administrations have failed to sustainably reduce homicides and other violent crimes. Critically, the Mexican government has failed to rebalance power in the triangular relationship between the state, criminal groups, and society, while the Mexican population has soured on the anti-cartel project.

Mexico 'won't be provoked by US' over migrant row

The fragmentation of Mexican criminal groups is both a purposeful and inadvertent effect of high value targeting, which is a problematic strategy because criminal groups can replace fallen leaders more easily than insurgent or terrorist groups. The policy also disrupts leadership succession, giving rise to intense internal competition and increasingly younger leaders who lack leadership skills and feel the need to prove themselves through violence.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador described Mr Trump’s slogan “America First” as a fallacy and said universal justice was more important than borders.

Stock markets saw sharp losses following Mr Trump’s announcement.

In a letter to his US counterpart, Mr López Obrador said Mexico was complying with its responsibility to avoid “as far as possible and without violating human rights, the passage [of migrants] through our country”.

“President Trump: Social problems are not resolved with tariffs or coercive measures,” he added.

“With all due respect, although you have the sovereign right to express this, the slogan ‘United States [America] First’ is a fallacy because, until the end of time, and even over and above national frontiers, universal justice and fraternity will prevail.”

Mexico 'won't be provoked by US' over migrant row

What did Mr Trump say?

The US president has long accused Mexico of not doing enough to stem the flow of people. Migrants, most of whom say they are fleeing violence in Central American countries, travel through Mexico on their way to the US, where they hope to claim asylum.

In a White House statement, Mr Trump said the tariffs would rise by five percentage points each month until 1 October, when the rate would reach 25%.

The tariffs would stay at that level “unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory”, he said.

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“For years, Mexico has not treated us fairly – but we are now asserting our rights as a sovereign nation,” the statement said.

The president also took aim at his Democratic opponents, accusing them of a “total dereliction of duty” over border security.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is taking legal action to halt the Trump administration’s efforts to build a border wall, saying it would be a waste of funds and would not stop illegal immigration.

Mexico 'won't be provoked by US' over migrant row

What will the tariffs affect?

Mexico was the second largest supplier of goods to the US last year, with imports totaling $352bn (£275bn), according to Goldman Sachs.

It is known for agricultural products like avocados and tequila, but the country is also a major manufacturing hub and home to many US companies.

Neither I buy because of the high cost and I rarely drink. I don’t like worms in my drink either. Ha-ha.

The country produces hundreds of thousands of cars every month and is also home to technology and aerospace companies. It is one of the G20 economies.

Mexico 'won't be provoked by US' over migrant row
Andrés Manuel López Obrador

US firms Ford, General Motors, John Deere, IBM and Coca-Cola all operate in Mexico, as well as thousands of other multinationals.

Some 31,000 people were killed Mexico in 2017, making it the bloodiest year on record since 1997. Even more people, 33,341, were killed in Mexico in 2018. The statistics expose the ineffectiveness of the Mexican government’s anti-crime policies and the inexcusable neglect of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration toward the public safety crisis. Since the war on the cartels started in 2006, more than 200,000 have died and an estimated 37,000 have disappeared.

A reduction in criminal violence is a key reason why many Mexican citizens casted their votes for the new administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, demanding a change in Mexico’s anti-crime policies.

Even those who did not vote for AMLO want to see violence and criminality finally suppressed and human rights and rule of law in Mexico strengthened.

But those who expect rapid breakthroughs from the AMLO administration in reducing violence are likely to be severely disappointed. Instead, at least initially, violence is likely to rise and the criminal market and criminal groups in Mexico are likely to become even more fragmented and pose greater challenges to local authority and public safety.

Mary Greeley News

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