The pressure that Texas put on neighboring Mexican states last month to tighten border security was tantamount to “extortion,” the Mexican foreign minister was quoted as saying.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has struck deals with governors of the border states of Chihuahua, Kauaila, Tamaulipas and Nueva Leon after intensified Texas security checks to prevent human smuggling and smuggling have disrupted bilateral trade.
The episode provoked an unpleasant reaction from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who described Texas’s behavior as “bad.”
This weekend, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard made her own criticism.
“Let me put it in quotes, it’s an extortion scheme, or rather, it’s extortion,” Ebrard was quoted as saying by the Milenio news network during a visit to Nuevo Leon.
“I’m closing the border and you have to sign everything I say.”
The Abbott office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ebrard did not argue with the Mexican governors, saying they had no alternative.
“But we are not ready for the governor to demand Mexico. I will never allow that,” he said.
Abbott, who is vying for re-election as governor, said Texas has reached an agreement with Mexican states to tighten security at the border to curb illegal immigration.
Later on Sunday, Mexican media reported that Ebrard had declared himself a presidential candidate in 2024 during an election campaign in the central Hidalgo region.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed the reports, saying Ebrard had previously made it clear that he intended to run.
A record number of people this year were caught trying to cross the border with Mexico into the United States illegally.