By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
The Mexican government, through its Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE), reiterated on Thursday, Jan. 18, its official position on U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, emphatically stating that it would never pay for the wall’s construction.
In a written statement issued by SRE, which essentially restated the Mexican government’s position on the subject as expressed in previous SRE statements issued on June 22 and Aug. 27 of last year, the Enrique Peña Nieto administration made it clear that “under no circumstances, nor in any manner” would Mexico assume the costs of the construction of the wall.
“This decision is not part of any Mexican negotiating strategy, but a fundamental principal of our national sovereignty and dignity,” the statement said.
“While Mexico does have a significant problem of violence, it is openly untrue that Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world.”
The SRE statement came in response to recent comments by Trump calling the Mexican-U.S. border “extremely dangerous” and on the heels of a report by Mexico’s own Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), which earlier this month acknowledged that the country had endured its most violent year on record, with more than 23,000 murders in 2017 (a figure that translates into a rate of one death every 20 minutes).
“According to figures from the United Nations for 2014 (the most recent international report on the matter), Mexico is far from being one of the most violent countries,” the SRE statement continued.
“In Latin America alone, there are other countries with higher homicide rates than Mexico.”
The SRE statement also stressed that, while there is violence in Mexico generated by the unlawful drug, arms and money-laundering trade between the two countries, the problem is a shared one that can only be resolved through bilateral cooperation.
“The high demand (for drugs) in the United States and the supply from Mexico and other countries” is at the root of this violence, the statement said.
“International criminal organizations have caused the deaths of thousands of Mexicans, including members of its armed forces and police forces, and thousands of U.S. citizens,” the statement said.
“Only on the basis of shared responsibility, teamwork and mutual trust can we overcome this challenge.”
The SRE statement concluded by saying that Mexico’s position on the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will remain “serious and constructive,” while defending its national interests and moving forward on a plan that would prove beneficial for all three member nations (Mexico, the United States and Canada).
It added that Mexico will not negotiate on NAFTA or any other aspect of its bilateral relationship with the United States through social networks or communications media.