Mexico and the US, between a “wall” of surprise and confusion 2023/10/08

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The high-level dialogue between Mexico and the United States was disconcerting because it coincided with the announcement to move forward with the “wall” of trump. The exchange of praise foundered in a sea of ​​confusion and doubt about what to do to resolve crises, such as immigration or fentanyl, in the face of the imposition of barriers of the “border security” policy. Difficult moment for the green light Biden to the fence in Texas, and also admit that nothing will solve it. For Lopez Obrador It is a “publicity measure”, but the pressure is real and increasing. So, what is the migration model? As the US Secretary of Homeland Security justified, Alejandro Mayorkas“we had no choice” because it is a legal obligation to use resources allocated in 2019 with trump for the “wall”, despite the disappointment of democratic sectors. Nor did it diminish Mexico's concern: “We prefer to build bridges and not walls,” said the chancellor. Alicia Barcena.

Biden He was the only one who had not built a wall. Faced with his broken promise, the dialogue was diluted between surprise and the attempt to deny an immigration turn by the Democrat. Third country policy sure de facto The Mexican government continues to contain migration, it was not enough to prevent the bilateral agenda from being held hostage by the electoral dispute in Washington. Nor could the expressions of satisfaction with the cooperation against fentanyl hide the fact that the demand for greater “security” actions is advancing in the Republican consensus. Mexican efforts to dissuade the results of cooperation arrive late in the US electoral campaign. He performance of the visit of the high-level delegation, headed by the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, lost luster in irresolution. What risks arise in the bilateral agenda? The first, that the Democrats' commitment to cooperation loses electoral performance and conservative thinking that sees few results in the politics of Biden. And second, that the unilateral measures express the advancement of the Republicans' narrative of attacking the Mexican cartels and returning to border barriers.

But according to Lopez Obradorthe US delegation was “surprised and very satisfied” by the arrest of drug lords, who are a “powerful symbol” of collaboration, as the prosecutor highlighted. Merrick Garland for the extradition of Ovid. Also due to seizures and closure of fentanyl laboratories, although it continues to be denied that it is produced in Mexico. Not so the Sinaloa Cartel, which seems to recoil from the threat of being treated as terrorists. Days before the meeting, blankets attributed to Los Chapitos appeared in Sinaloa with messages to prohibit the production and sale of fentanyl. Who asked them?

Among the Republican presidential candidates, there is a consensus to put border security at the center of the agenda, above solutions to migration, and to impose greater actions to “help” Mexico dismantle the cartels. That does not mean military boots in the territory, there are other types of interventions that also violate sovereignty. It is not in Mexico's interest to dismiss the pressures as “ridiculous,” as it described Lopez Obrador to congressmen who voted to withdraw aid funds from the country for not doing enough against fentanyl. The President also perceives the threat and proof of this is the moderation of his speech against the wall. He trusts that Biden will not advance in its construction and that it does not doubt Mexico's work against fentanyl. But it would be advisable not to fail to see that in the United States the punitive vision against migration and the return of the rhetoric of the “war on drugs” is imposed, now with fentanyl.

What should worry Mexico the most is the impotence of Biden to oppose Republican demands on migration and drug trafficking. The political turnaround in Washington could be greater with the candidacy of trump to the presidency, which forces the Democrats to retreat from their collaborative stance without transgressing the sovereignty of their partner, although they have not done everything they would like to counteract the offensive of their political rivals.

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Nathan Rivera
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