Saturday’s El Paso shootings could become an international incident.
According to Mexican officials on Sunday, the attack would prompt their country to take “forceful legal actions” to protect its citizens in the U.S.
“The president has instructed me to ensure that Mexico’s indignation translates into … efficient, prompt, expeditious and forceful legal actions for Mexico to take a role and demand that conditions are established that protect … Mexicans in the United States,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a video posted on Twitter.
Mr. Ebrard called the attack “a terrorist act” against Mexicans — international law requires governments to protect foreign citizens against native vigilantes and pogrom-style attacks — and urged the U.S. government to “set a clear position against hate crimes.”
He said his country also plans legal action against the manufacturer of the weapon used in Saturday’s killing and also urged the U.S. to tighten its gun-control laws.
“It’s urgent that we take corresponding actions against weapons,” said Mr. Ebrard, who has frequently blamed permissive American gun laws for Mexico’s high crime rate.
At least three of the 20 people killed and at least nine of the 26 people wounded at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, were Mexican nationals, Mexican officials told reporters.
Even apart from matters related to legal and illegal immigration, El Paso lies directly across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, and the two cities combine to create a metro area of more than 2 million people where cross-border traffic and commerce are part of the routine.