MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president called on politicians and angry farmers in northern Mexico Friday to allow the country to pay its water debt to the United States, noting he does not want Mexico to become an issue in the U.S. elections.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that unlike 2016, candidates in the November presidential race have been “respectful” of Mexico and he wants to keep it that way.
“We are not ruling out that we can comply,” said López Obrador. “We do not want this to become a campaign issue.”
“The (U.S.) candidates have been respectful of Mexico,” he said. “Mexico is not an issue in the political or electoral debate.”
As a candidate in 2016, Donald Trump accused Mexico of sending rapists across the border. But the rhetoric this year has been softer.
Time is running out; farmers have seized a northern Mexico dam needed to pay the debt, with less than a month left to meet the Oct. 24 deadline for releasing water to communities along the Rio Grande.