Mexico’s presidential candidate and former mayor of Mexico City, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (left), campaigning in Ciudad Juarez on April 1, 2018
The Mexican presidential candidates launched their campaign on Sunday in response to Donald Trump’s plea, which accused Mexico of doing „very little“ to prevent illegal migrants from entering the United States.
Left candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, current pollster favorite, said from Ciudad Juarez, on the border with the state of Texas (USA), that he would demand respect for Mexicans.
„Neither Mexico nor its people are going to be the punching ball of any foreign government,“ said the 64-year-old candidate at his first official campaign rally for the July 1 presidential election.
„It is not with walls, nor with the use of force that we solve social problems or security issues,“ he insisted.
The former mayor of Mexico City added that he did not rule out the possibility of changing Donald Trump’s opinion „on his erroneous foreign policy, and in particular his contemptuous attitude towards Mexicans“.
Its main rival, conservative Ricardo Anaya, who heads a coalition of right-wing and left-wing parties, demanded firmness and dignity after the US president’s new statements.
„We need a new relationship with shared responsibility and mutual respect,“ said Anaya in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco State, where he launched his campaign.
Presidential election in Mexico
The 39-year-old candidate, currently in second place for voting, said the migration phenomenon is worrying both Mexico and the United States.
He also pointed to US responsibility for arms trafficking in a country where violence related to drug trafficking has claimed more than 200,000 lives since 2006.
„80% of the weapons with which people are murdered in our country come from the United States,“ he denounced.
– Caravan of migrants –
Earlier in the day, Donald Trump launched a new rant on Twitter against his neighbor to the South.
Ricardo Anaya, Conservative candidate for the presidency of Mexico, with his son Mateo campaigning in Celaya, April 1, 2018
„Mexico does very little, if anything, to prevent people from entering Mexico through its southern border, then to the United States,“ he wrote.
Mexico „must stop the flow of drugs and people, or stop their cash cow, NAFTA“ (the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico), continued Donald Trump . „NEED THE WALL!“
These tweets were posted a few minutes after a Fox News channel reference to a march across Mexico of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States.
Held on 25 March in the Mexican city of Tapachula, on the border with Guatemala, this caravan named „Viacrucis Migrante 2018“ is currently in the region of Oaxaca (south).
The Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray defended on Twitter the migratory cooperation between the two countries.
„This cooperation should not be questioned on the basis of inaccurate information, and defending dignity and human rights is not incompatible with the rule of law,“ he said.
– Corruption and violence –
Mr Lopez Obrador, who is running for the third time in this election, seems to be a favorite to replace the unpopular President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Jose Antonio Meade, candidate for the presidency of Mexico for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in the election campaign in Merida, April 1, 2018
According to recent polls, it would collect more than 40% of voting intentions, ahead of Ricardo Anaya and Jose Antonio Meade, the candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Messrs. Anaya and Meade are each credited with between 20% and 30% of voting intentions.
In his campaign opening speech, Lopez Obrador criticized the neo-liberal model „that sparked the most colossal corruption in the country’s history“ and promised an exemplary government.
He pledged to end „with impunity and privileges“ and announced he wanted to boost public investment.
Meade, 49, also pledged to fight corruption in front of his supporters gathered in Merida, Yucatan (southeast).
„Mexicans are tired of corruption,“ said the respected former minister, seeking to reassure the electorate after several loud scandals involving his party.
As for the conservative candidate, Ricardo Anaya, he put security at the center of his commitments. „Our priority is to restore peace and tranquility,“ he said, promising to make a new proposal every day to solve the country’s problems.