El Paso Mass Shooting, A Terror Act: Mexican Foreign Minister

Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks at the Mexican consulate, two days after a mass shooting in El Paso.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks at the Mexican consulate, two days after a mass shooting in El Paso. | Photo: Reuters

Mexicans nationals constitute about a third of the total number of dead, which stood at 22.

August 5 (teleSUR) Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard visited El Paso, Texas, on Monday and held a press conference at the Consulate General of Mexico. 

The minister confirmed that eight Mexican citizens were killed while six more are still recovering from their injuries, after Saturday’s shooting at Walmart. Mexicans nationals constitute about a third of the total number of dead, which stood at 22 as of Monday morning, according to El Paso police. 

“We consider this to be an act of terror,” Ebrard said, “obviously in the United States territory, but against Mexicans citizens.” The official highlighted the importance of this statement which will allow his country to participate in the investigation and the trial against “the perpetrator of this tragedy,” and to share information with U.S. authorities on the case, according to the Mexican law.

“We are also analyzing actions regarding gun control,” said the ministry before he explained  that conforming to the law, and as the tragedy is considered an act of terror, “if the general attorney approves it, a petition will be sent to demand the extradition of the criminal who perpetrated the murders.”

The Mexican official then went on to comment about U.S. President Donald Trump’s statements on the tragedy.

“We followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement this morning and we coincide with his condemnation of racism and white supremacy as serious problems in the US,” he said adding that the Mexican government also shares United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres statements against racism in our societies.

Ebrard also took the opportunity to thank, on behalf of the victims, all the messages of solidarity and support from the Mexicans in the country and all around the world.

The massacre occurred Saturday morning in the heavily Hispanic border city of El Paso, where a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart store before surrendering. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the rampage appeared to be a hate crime, and police said they believed the suspect, a 21-year-old white man, may have been racially motivated.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said investigators were examining a “manifesto” from the suspect indicating “there is a potential nexus to a hate crime.”

A four-page statement posted on 8chan, an online message board often used by extremists, and believed to have been written by the suspect, called the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Statement by Mexican Foreign Ministry, August 4, 2019

Mexico Considers Attack in El Paso an Act of Terrorism Against Mexicans in the U.S.

Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announces diplomatic, legal and protective measures for the Mexican community; justice will be sought for the victims of the attack.

Mexico considers attack in El Paso an act of terrorism against Mexicans in the U.S.

Mexico considers attack in El Paso an act of terrorism against Mexicans in the U.S.

Author: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores

Publication date: August 04, 2019

  • Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announces a series of diplomatic, legal and protective actions for the community; justice will be sought for the victims of the attack.
  • “We are outraged. These hate crimes must never happen again,” says the Foreign Secretary.

Mexico categorically repudiates and condemns the cowardly attack carried out yesterday in El Paso, Texas, which it considers an act of terrorism against innocent Mexicans.

Therefore, on behalf of the Government of Mexico, the Foreign Ministry will take a series of legal, diplomatic and protective measures to ensure justice for the victims of the shooting and to protect the rights of the Mexican communities in the United States.

“Mexico is outraged, but we are not proposing to meet hate with hate. We will act reasonably and firmly, in accordance to the law,” Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said this afternoon.  

The Foreign Secretary said he regretted to report that, so far, there were six confirmed Mexican fatalities and another seven had been seriously injured as a result of the attack at a shopping center in the border city of El Paso, Texas.

The Secretary reiterated his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.  He said the Foreign Ministry would work to ensure that they had legal representation and would accompany them in taking the necessary steps during the criminal investigation begun by U.S. federal authorities.

He also said the Foreign Ministry would ask for an investigation into how the gun used in the attack was sold.

Foreign Secretary Ebrard said the Foreign Ministry had been in communication with and provided information to the Attorney General of Mexico (FGR) so that, if the FGR so decided, it could initiate legal action for terrorism against Mexican nationals in the United States.

“If appropriate, the Attorney General’s Office will evaluate if the necessary elements exist to request the extradition of the perpetrator or perpetrators of this act… This should come as no surprise, because for Mexico, this individual is a terrorist,” said Foreign Secretary Ebrard. 

The Foreign Secretary announced that the Foreign Ministry would send a diplomatic note to the United States government tomorrow, respectfully but firmly asking it to take a clear and forceful position against hate crimes. 

Emergency meetings will be held in several U.S. states to instruct Mexico’s consulates to provide additional measures of protection for Mexicans. The first of these meetings will take place in Texas, California, Illinois, New York and Georgia.

In addition, Mexico will convene a conference of all Spanish-speaking countries with communities in the United States in order to advocate for defending the rights of Hispanics in the U.S. correctly and according to the law.

Foreign Secretary Ebrard conveyed his condolences to the people and government of the United States for the recent events in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Chicago, Illinois.

“We know that the people of the United States are also in mourning. We hope that what we have lived through this weekend never happens again.  Never again,” said the Foreign Secretary.

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