After the constant arguments of United States’ business mogul Donald Trump against Mexico in his presidential campaign, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has finally commented on Trump’s allegations – almost a year and a half after the beginning of the U.S. presidential race.
According to Peña Nieto, Trump is “damaging the relation that Mexico and the United States have been building together in order to find solutions to bilateral problems through dialogue, mutual respect and joint agreements.”
Even though the Mexican president had avoided direct comments on Trump until now, he stated in another interview that Trump’s rhetoric recalls the rise of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Europe, whose “sort of language has led to very fateful scenes in the history of humanity.”
Due to Trump’s pledging to build a wall along Mexico and the U.S. and constant allegations that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” that carry crime and drugs to the U.S., Mexican officials have begun to publicly express their concerns about the Republican frontrunner and his campaign.
Former President Vicente Fox stated his discontent with Trump’s message and proposal of building a wall and getting Mexico to pay for it. In an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Fox used his well-known explicit language to say that he’s “not going to pay for that f-cking wall. He [Trump] should pay for it. He’s got the money.”
For Fox, the Republican frontrunner will not win the race, not even when he won the votes of 44 percent of Hispanics in the Nevada caucus since “democracy cannot take that, the crazy people that [don’t] know what is going on in the world today.”
Later on, former President Felipe Calderón said that Trump’s anti-immigrant “logic of exalting white supremacy isn’t even acting against immigration, it is speaking and aimed to migrants that have a different color than him,” an idea the Mexican official called “frankly racist.”
Calderón stated that, under a Trump administration, the U.S. would be a “neighbor that we’re all going to end up rejecting and hating,” an idea eminently harmful to the best interest of U.S.-Mexico relations.
Even with Mexican officials and former presidents giving their opinion about the Republican frontrunner, Mexican citizens have also raised their voice against the business mogul and his political campaign, making Trump the number one public enemy in the country.
People across Mexico have expressed their outrage of the businessman’ statements and their bewilderment of Latinos that like him and his proposals, making them racist again their own people. Mexican citizens have also addressed the impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy and the necessity to maintain a dynamic and efficient bilateral relation, especially in the north of Mexico. People living in the border states have claimed that if the businessman were elected president, life would be very difficult since the whole region depends on cross-border trade.
However, Trump’s allegations have also incentivized some creative kinds of protests by making piñatas out of the Republican frontrunner’s image in order for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to hit them and vent their anger. These piñatas – mostly ordered for demonstrations and marches – are selling quickly in Mexico and even in some parts of the U.S.
Besides the generalized outrage and the ingenious protests, the relation between Mexico and the U.S. is crucial for both countries, especially in an economic, political and social sphere. Due to Trump’s allegations and a widespread anti-immigration message that plays into American’s nativist suspicions, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs plans a diplomatic push by hosting forums highlighting the benefits of U.S.-Mexican relations to the American people. From these forums, Mexico’s government will portray the U.S.-Mexico relations not as a threat but as a mutual opportunity.
Mexico is finally taking a stand, but will this be enough to stop Trump? U.S.-Mexico relations are complex and require something much more different from an isolationist idea. But starting 2017, this could be as simple as building fences and walls.
Follow Karen López on Twitter: @karenlopezb17
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