Washington (EFE).- Former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) mocked this Saturday the government of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in his first official campaign event in the Republican primaries to run for the White House again in the 2024 elections.
In a speech in the state of New Hampshire, Trump boasted of the pressure to which he allegedly subjected the López Obrador Executive to accept the controversial “Stay in Mexico” program, created in 2019 and which forced migrants and refugees to remain in Mexico while their asylum claims were being processed.
Trump recalled that, then, he threatened Mexico with applying tariffs to all Mexican imports if it did not meet two conditions: accept the “Stay in Mexico” program and use members of the security forces to stop migrants on their way to Mexico. north.
When the time came to negotiate, Trump narrated, “a representative of Mexico entered the room, a very nice guy and I like him very much even though he is a socialist” and then the then president took the opportunity to communicate his requests.
“We need 20,000 soldiers and we want everyone to stay in Mexico and no one to come to the United States. And I told him, look, if you do not approve it, we are going to impose tariffs on all the vehicles that you are selling in our country, some tariffs of 25%, and we are going to impose tariffs of 25% on all the products that you make in Mexico, ” Trump told the Mexican representative, according to his account.
The former president did not mention the official by name, although Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard was in charge of most of the negotiations.
According to what Trump narrated, after listening to their claims, the Mexican representative made a phone call to López Obrador and then announced that the Mexican government would accept the “Stay in Mexico” program and that it would assign members of the security forces. to migration work.
The “Stay in Mexico” program began to be officially applied in January 2019 and, shortly after, López Obrador created the National Guard corps by decree with the aim of combating violence and organized crime, although it has also been used to stop migration from Central America.
Mexico and the electoral scene
This week, another former member of the Trump government sparked controversy by offering details of the negotiations between the US and Mexico on the “Stay in Mexico” program.
Specifically, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a memoir in which he assures that Ebrard wanted to hide from the Mexican public that he was going to accept the “Stay in Mexico” program to avoid tarnishing the image of López Obrador.
Ebrard has rejected that story and this week assured that it is “a campaign based on anti-Mexican ideas.”
In addition, Ebrard has said that Mexico made the decision to implement measures on its side of the border independently, not because of pressure from Washington.
The statements by both Trump and Pompeo come in an electoral context.
Trump has already announced his intention to compete for the Republican nomination in the primaries to be his party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election, while Pompeo sounds like another possible contender, although he has not officially launched his candidacy.
The “Stay in Mexico” program was one of the most controversial immigration measures of the Trump government. It caused chaos at the border and human rights organizations say it violated international asylum regulations in force since the end of World War II.