Mexico Calls for Better U.S. Gun Control After El Paso Massacre
(Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged the U.S. to review its gun control laws following Saturday’s shooting that killed 22 people, including eight Mexicans, in El Paso, Texas.
“We are very respectful of what other governments decide, but we think that these unfortunate events in the U.S. should prompt reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of guns,” the president known as AMLO said in his morning news conference from Valle de Bravo, in the State of Mexico. He added that both Republicans and Democrats have given little attention to the issue.
AMLO’s comments are a rare foray into the politics of another nation. He has repeatedly declined to take sides in Venezuela, despite calls from most world democracies for Nicolas Maduro to step aside, saying that Mexico’s constitution calls for respect and non-intervention regarding the affairs of other countries.
But Saturday’s shooting occurred in a state that’s home to millions of Mexican Americans and that was part of Mexico in the beginning of the 19th century. Most guns used by Mexican drug cartels in the country’s deadly turf war also come illegally from the U.S., since the Mexican army is the only legal seller in the country.
The Walmart in El Paso where the shooting took place was filled with American and Mexican shoppers, as is typical for stores along the border on the weekend, and six Mexicans were wounded in addition to those killed in the shooting.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard traveled to Ciudad Juarez on Monday morning and crossed the border to El Paso to visit families of victims.
The shooter posted a manifesto online minutes before the attack with words and phrases that U.S. President Donald Trump has used in reference to immigrants and the media. Several Democrats said Trump is responsible for sowing the seeds of white-nationalist terrorism in the country.
Democrats in recent years have repeatedly called on Republicans to support expanded background checks for gun purchases in an effort to curb mass shootings. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill, and the party over the weekend called on the Republican-held Senate to interrupt its August recess to approve the legislation.
Trump on Monday proposed combining gun legislation with an even more controversial immigration overhaul, suggesting he would seek a price for gun regulations favored by Democrats. They oppose most of his proposed immigration policies, including the construction of a wall on the Mexico border and limits to legal migration and U.S. asylum.
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