Mexico presses the United States to designate El Paso shooting act of terror

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard talks to the media after eight Mexican nationals were killed during a shooting that left a total ...

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard talks to the media after eight Mexican nationals were killed during a shooting that left a total of 22 people dead in El Paso, Texas, at the Cielo Vista Mall WalMart in Mexico, on August 5, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Mexico has insisted that the massacre of Mexican nationals during a recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, was an act of terrorism, strongly calling on the United States to treat the deadly incident as such.

On August 3, an American national identified as Patrick Crusius went on a shooting spree at a Walmart store in the US border city, killing 22 people, including eight Mexicans, a tragic event that Mexico City immediately described as a terrorist act.

On Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at a regular government press conference that measures were needed to be taken to prevent similar tragedies in future. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was also present at the presser.

“It’s very important to persevere, to specify, clarify, and demand that measures are taken so that this is not repeated, and the first measure is to classify it for what it is, an act of terrorism that seeks to take Mexican lives,” he said, a day after US and Mexican officials met to discuss the incident.The suspected shooter, in a statement believed to be his, said that the attack had been conducted as “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and according to El Paso police, he said that had been targeting “Mexicans.”

“There will be those who say, ‘No, no, no, this isn’t terrorism, it’s just one person,’” Ebrard further said, dismissing such attempts.

He said the suspect who committed this “despicable, abominable and appalling act” was a member of a network and uploaded his “manifesto to the network.”

Less than 20 minutes before the shooting, Crusius is said to have published a manifesto on 8chan, a notorious internet forum.

“What he says is terrible, but it’s not that he’s mad; he is in possession of his faculties,” Ebrard said.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry has already expressed its gratitude to Texas Governor Greg Abbott for establishing a domestic terrorism task force in the wake of the El Paso shooting in an attempt to combat “hateful acts and extremism” in Texas. Mexico City hopes to try the suspected perpetrator in Mexico.

“We’re going to ask for this person be judged here, too. We’re going to ask for his extradition, and the full weight of the law will be felt,” President Lopez Obrador said at a public event on Wednesday, adding that his country did not allow the death penalty but could impose other harsh sentences.

“We don’t want this to happen again, we don’t want these hate crimes,” stressed Lopez Obrador.

The mass shooting shocked Mexicans at a time when there are persisting tensions between Mexico City and Washington over trade and immigration.

Late week, the Mexican government urged the White House to cooperate in helping to identify white supremacists who are a threat to its nationals.

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