Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, a leftist who took office Dec. 1 promising better treatment of migrants, instead has embraced the fight against migrant smuggling.
In recent weeks, he has seldom mentioned the U.S. pressure and depicts the crackdown on migrants as a struggle to defend Mexican laws. His administration has taken a tough line against hundreds of African migrants waiting in the southern city of Tapachula for transit visas that Mexico no longer hands out.
“We will not budge,” he said after the Africans protested, “because the recent events in Tapachula aim to make Mexico yield and oblige us to give out certificates so migrants can get into the United States. We cannot do that. It isn’t our job.”
He said migrant caravans once tolerated by Mexico were the work of human traffickers, and effectively ended them.
“All of these people who traffic with migrants’ needs for jobs, safety and welfare, they are committing a crime and they will be punished,” López Obrador said last week. “We are already doing this in Mexico, without violating human rights. We are ensuring there isn’t anarchy, disorder.”
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