Mexicans begin to unite in fight against Donald Trump’s plans

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Mexico City | Published: January 28, 2017 5:45:56 AM

Mexicans are beginning to debate how to fight back against US President Donald Trump's aggressive stance on trade and immigration. Prominent political figures have suggested the country expel US law enforcement agents, stop detaining Central American migrants or no longer inspect northbound trucks for drug shipments. Some activist groups on yesterday were calling for a boycott of American brands.

Former President Felipe Calderon said Thursday that "we have to design a policy of retaliation" for Trump's proposed plans, which include making Mexico pay for the border wall he wants to build. (Reuters)Former President Felipe Calderon said Thursday that “we have to design a policy of retaliation” for Trump’s proposed plans, which include making Mexico pay for the border wall he wants to build. (Reuters)

Mexicans are beginning to debate how to fight back against US President Donald Trump’s aggressive stance on trade and immigration. Prominent political figures have suggested the country expel US law enforcement agents, stop detaining Central American migrants or no longer inspect northbound trucks for drug shipments. Some activist groups on yesterday were calling for a boycott of American brands.

Former President Felipe Calderon said Thursday that “we have to design a policy of retaliation” for Trump’s proposed plans, which include making Mexico pay for the border wall he wants to build.

“We have to put US security issues under review … including the presence of (US) agents” on Mexican soil, Calderon told local news media.

The comments came after current President Enrique Pena Nieto scrapped a planned Tuesday meeting with Trump after the American president tweeted that it would be better to cancel if Mexico wasn’t willing to pay for his proposed wall.

Ruben Aguilar, a political consultant who was spokesman for former President Vicente Fox, noted yesterday that Mexico has been stopping Central American migrants before they reach the US border “as part of the logic between two friendly countries.”

He suggested that Mexico could say, “Okay, I’m not going to stop Central Americans anymore,” and added, “Now if our two countries aren’t friends anymore, that is a card we could play to increase the pressure.”

“Drugs are another” possible card, Aguilar said. “If you want to stop them with your wall, well we won’t stop them anymore, let them go through.”

Trump appeared to try to defuse the spat between the two countries yesterday, saying, “Great respect for Mexico, I love the Mexican people.”

“We have really, I think, a very good relationship, the president and I, and we had a talk that lasted for about an hour this morning, and we are going to be working on a fair relationship,” Trump said.

The office of the Mexican president confirmed the call, calling it “constructive and productive,” but did not specifically mention the wall or other policies proposed by Trump it doesn’t agree with.

Pena Nieto’s government instead stressed “the need for both countries to continue working together to stop the trafficking of drugs and the flow of illegal weapons.”

“Both presidents recognized their clear and very public differences on this very sensitive issue, and agreed to solve those differences as part of an integrated discussion of all aspects of the bilateral relationship,” Pena Nieto’s office said. “The two presidents also agreed, for the moment, to no longer speak publicly about this controversial topic.”

On yesterday afternoon, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim called for “national unity” in the face of Trump’s hostility, and said the country should have a measured response “without getting angry but without surrendering.”

Slim called for a “modern, not protectionist” national program of substituting imported products, the vast majority of which come from the United States.

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