In Ojinaga, AMLO urges respect for the human rights of Central Americans

OJINAGA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO – On June 14, the President of the Republic of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, visited border city of Ojinaga and in reference to the unprecendented migration of Central Americans through Mexico en route to the United States, urged his fellow countrymen and countrywomen to show cordial treatment to migrants and to respect their human rights.

“We must follow the example of the Bible and not mistreat the stranger,” Obrador stated to the hundreds of spectators who had gathered at the Zocalo, OJ’s city square.

Regarding the controversial announcement by U.S. President Trump of imposing tariffs of 5% on all products made in Mexico that enter the United States if the country cannot reduce the flow of immigrants entering through Mexico, Lopez Obrador announced that a delegation had been sent to Washington, DC in order to avoid the imposition of said tariffs. Finally, on June 7, it was announced that both countries had reached an agreement and that the application of tariff rates to Mexican products would be suspended indefinitely.

“It was a crisis, as I consider it, temporary, transitory, we did not fall into the trap of confrontation, we do not want a fight, we do not like confrontation, the brushoffs do not take away from the bravery. Maybe if we were citizens that were in school as before, what did we say at school if they offended us, if we fought? See you outside. Remember? But it turns out that we are no longer in school, we are governing a country and we cannot deal with such a delicate issue in this way,” said Obrador.

Upon his arrival, the president walked through the crowd to greet spectators and in turn receive written requests to be reviewed. Upon reaching the podium, the president recalled his past visits and to the applause of the public stated his now popular phrase “Me canso ganso” (an old slang expression that, in the mouth of the Mexican president, means, “I´ll make sure that it happens.”).

Members of the public held posters asking the president for help and demanding prompt attention to the roads. Lopez Obrador did not ignore this and commented, “If I arrive in Ojinaga by helicopter I will not find out how the roads are.”

The president reiterated his support of the country´s southern states in eradicating the root problem and preventing the southern border area from migration and thus risking their lives.

“I uphold my position of support for migrants,” stated the president, saying that he would work on other measures to avoid the migration phenomenon.

In turn, he commented that there is no need to increase taxes for comprehensive programs, but that about 75 government aircraft would be sold. Lopez Obrador also said that he would seek to eradicate practices such as the use of exclusive aircraft for public officials.

The president´s visit also had the objective of verifying that the fiscal stimulus agreements of the Free Zone of the Northern Border are being carried out, as well as the presentation of scholarships by the integral welfare programs for people with disabilities, older adults and the youth of the Construyendo el Futuro (Building the Future) program.

Among the benefits of the first program, he mentioned an 8 percent VAT reduction, a 20 percent reduction in income tax, doubling the minimum wage and verifying the management of energy rates such as gasoline and electricity.

“I have come to see if the programs for Ojinaga and border municipalities are being fulfilled. If they are not, we will return to bring order,” said the President.

Upon his departure the president was surrounded by a riot of people who briefly prevented his departure and asked him to get out of his vehicle. Lopez Obrador, however, only exited to shake hands with of the Mayor of Presidio, John Ferguson, who was in attendance.

“It was incredible!,” Ferguson said. “He literally stopped the vehicle and came out to greet me, personally. This is how our nations should take care of each other.”