Mexico: We’re building a wall, and America is going to pay for it

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Credit: ProtoplasmaKid / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

MEXICO CITY–Mexicans are growing increasingly nervous of the coronavirus epidemic. While most are simply choosing to remain in their homes, others are taking more drastic measures.

On Wednesday, a Mexican political group calling themselves Sonorans for Health and Life blocked the Nogales-Mariposa International Crossing, a checkpoint for people and goods moving between the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona. The blockade continued into Thursday and the group has vowed to continue its efforts until Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador takes more serious steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus into Mexico.

López Obrador, widely criticised for his perceived lack of response to the pandemic, announced his solution to a large crowd in Mexico City standing on reflective tape markings two metres abreast.

“We’re going to build a wall,” López Obrador said. “A great, beautiful, tremendous wall. And best of all, America is going to pay for it.”

Lopez also said that he had convinced U.S. President Donald Trump to pay for the wall by re-allocating funds originally designated for military projects.

“The Americans share our concerns about the border and they understand our position,” he added. “That’s why they volunteered to take this step. Mexico is grateful for their efforts and we see this as continuing evidence of our excellent relationship.”

The United States has recently surpassed China with over 82,000 cases of COVID-19. By contrast, Mexico has seen fewer than 500. The border state of Senora has had only four, one of which had been traced back to a traveller who recently visited the United States.