Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is planning on strengthening his nation’s southern border with a new specialized police force in an effort to crack down on drug-related gun violence and illegal crossings.
Alfonso Durazo, who has been picked by Obrador to head up the effort, told Bloomberg the new force will be sizable.
The force will be deployed to Mexico’s northern border with the U.S., as well.
“We’re going to create a border police force that will be highly specialized,” Durazo said.
“They need to apply the law,” including stopping undocumented migrants and human traffickers from crossing into Mexico.
According to the Associated Press, more than 200,000 have been murdered in Mexico since 2006, and the majority of those have been in drug-related violence.
Last year, the murder rate in the nation reached an all-time high with more than 25,000 killed, and this year is on pace to top that number.
By comparison, the total number of murders in the United States in 2016 (the most recent number available) was approximately 17,250, despite the U.S. having a population nearly three times larger than Mexico.
Last month, Obrador responded to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal crossings — which resulted in children being separated from their parents — by promising to defend illegal immigrants from Mexico and other countries trying to enter the United States.
The then-candidate called the Trump administration’s crackdown “racist” and “inhumane,” El Universal reported.
He then urged Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to take the matter up directly with Trump, and also solicit the United Nations commissioner for human rights to intervene.
“Soon, very soon, after the victory of our movement, we will defend migrants all over the American continent and the migrants of the world who, by necessity, must abandon their towns to find life in the United States. It’s a human right we will defend,” Obrador said.
Following Obrador’s victory last week, Trump told reporters the two spoke by phone. “I think he’s going to try and help us with border,” Trump said.
"I think he's going to try and help us with border," Trump said of Mexico's President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador pic.twitter.com/ij5TtjmJKP
— POLITICO (@politico) July 2, 2018
“We have unbelievably bad border laws, immigration laws. The weakest in the world. Laughed at by everybody in the world,” Trump added.
“Mexico has very strong immigrations laws, so they can help us until we straighten out our immigration laws, which have been bad for many, many years — decades. We’re going to have them taken care of,” he stated.
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