US-Mexico officials to meet over El Paso massacre

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Top-level Mexican and US officials will meet in Mexico City on August 13 to discuss the mass shooting in El Paso in which 22 people died, eight of them Mexican citizens, the Mexican government has announced.

In a message to the media from the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE), Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard on Thursday announced the “top-level meeting” among personnel from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and “high officials from the office of the Attorney General of the US as well as the FBI and other agencies”, Efe news reported.

“We consider this to be an important step for consolidating the investigative file in the hands of the (Mexican) Attorney General’s Office and moving forward with classifying and, of course, with the legal process following the events that occurred in El Paso, Texas,” Ebrard said.

The Mexican government is evaluating – via the Mexican AG’s Office – a terrorism complaint against the young man who staged the attack, who is presently in US custody.

Last Saturday, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius killed 22 people and wounded 26 with an assault rifle at a Walmart store in El Paso. Eight of the dead were Mexican citizens.

The massacre was motivated, according to authorities, by Crusius’s white supremacist ideology, given that he selected the Walmart in the border city for his attack because it caters mainly to Hispanics.

A day later, another shooter killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, before being gunned down by security personnel, although there was no apparent racial or ethnic animus that motivated the killer.

On Wednesday, the Mexican government delivered a diplomatic note to US authorities in which it asks the US government for all the information it possesses on the Aug. 3 El Paso shooting with an eye toward determining if there are other people or organizations seeking to harm Mexicans in the United States.

The SRE said that the note delivered to the US Embassy “expresses (our) absolute condemnation and rejection of the massacre, which was directed against Mexican citizens.”

Therefore, the SRE asked for the cooperation of the US government so that the Mexican AG’s Office can obtain all information in the case and determine if other people or “white supremacist” organizations may be seeking to endanger the Mexican community in the US.

“Hateful discourse must have no place in our societies,” the text reads.

Also, the Mexican government said it considers it “imperative” that US President Donald Trump’s call to condemn racism, fanaticism and white supremacy be made a reality.

On Thursday, Ebrard also announced that on Aug. 15 a meeting will be held with other Spanish-speaking countries’ representatives to “discuss the defense and promotion of the … Spanish-language culture (and) civilization, especially in the United States.”

It is expected that officials from the Ibero-American General Secretariat and the Central American Integration System will participate in the meeting.