| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Mexican foreign minister slams ‘extortion’ by Texas in border dispute

Measures agreed upon last month by Mexican state governors and Texas to improve border security in response to Texan pressure on immigration were equal to “extortion,” according to Mexico’s foreign minister.

After increased Texan security checks to prevent people and contraband smuggling hindered trade, Governor Greg Abbott struck accords with the governors of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Nuevo Leon.


The episode sparked a testy response from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who described Texas’ behavior as “despicable”, and his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, this weekend weighed in with his own criticism.

“Let me put this in quotation marks, it’s an extortion scheme, or rather it is extortion; I close the border and you have to sign whatever I say. That’s not a deal, a deal is when you and I are in agreement on something,” Ebrard was quoted as saying by news network Milenio during a visit to Nuevo Leon.

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside of normal business hours.

Ebrard did not take issue with the Mexican governors, saying that they had been presented with no alternative.

“But we’re not prepared to have a governor extorting Mexico. I will never allow that,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Mexican foreign ministry said Ebrard had been interviewed by Milenio.

Abbott, who is running for re-election as governor, said Texas had reached accords with the Mexican states to beef up security at the border in order to curb illegal immigration.

Record numbers of people have this year been caught trying to cross the Mexican border into the United States.

  • Reuters