By Louis Casiano
Published August 05, 2019
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday pushed the United States to support gun control legislation in response to a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas over the weekend that claimed at least 22 lives, including seven Mexican nationals.
"We are very respectful of what other governments decide but we think that these lamentable events that occurred in the United States should lead to reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of arms," Lopez Obrador said at a press conference.
The suspected gunman, Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly opened fire at a Walmart Saturday before he was taken into police custody. He faces capital murder charges.
Before the shooting, he allegedly wrote an anti-immigrant manifesto and drove several hours from his Dallas-area home to the scene of the attack.
El Paso sits directly across the southern border from Cuidad Juarez in Mexico.
Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard on Sunday that the country's top prosecutor is considering filing terrorism charges against Crusius.
He also threatened legal action against the U.S., saying Mexican leaders would demand conditions to protect its citizens while in the United States.
"It is not our disposition to involve ourselves in the internal affairs of any country, but this topic should be considered again because it affects many people, in this case Americans as well as Mexicans," Lopez Obrador said.
The Mexican leader's request comes at a time of unprecedented violence in Mexico as drug cartels continue to fight over territory and smuggling routes.
Murders in Mexico rose 33 percent in 2018, Reuters reported in January.
Investigators opened more than 33,340 murder cases that year, compared to just over 25,000 in 2017, according to information from the Interior Ministry.