Mexicans call for tough crackdown on Americans crossing the border

A border wall separates Nogales, Arizona, from the Mexican state of Sonora

Mexican protesters have closed a southern border crossing in the US because they fear that untested American travelers could spread the corona virus.

Residents in Sonora, south of Arizona, have promised to block traffic to Mexico for a second day after closing a checkpoint on Wednesday for hours.

They were wearing face masks and signs asking Americans to “stay at home”.

Mexico has fewer than 500 confirmed Covid-19 cases and the United States over 65,000.

The border is said to be closed to all but “essential” businesses, but demonstrators said there was little enforcement and no testing by the authorities.

The blockade was led by members of a Sonora-based group, Health and Life, who demanded that medical tests be done on everyone traveling to Mexico from the United States.

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Jose Luis Hernandez, a group member, told the Republic of Arizona: “There are no federal health examinations to deal with this pandemic. This is why we are here in Nogales. We have taken measures to call Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador should act now. “

The Mexican president has been criticized for responding to the pandemic, as has US President Donald Trump.

Mr. Hernandez said Wednesday’s demonstrations were a “first warning” to Mr. Lopez Obrador, popularly known as his initials Amlo.

The group has called for the border ban to be enforced for all U.S. or Mexican citizens for tourism or medical reasons, including those who cross the border every day to attend school or work in the U.S.

The authorities also need to conduct medical tests on Mexicans who have been deported from the United States.

The group vowed to block the DeConcini checkpoint again after shutting down on Wednesday afternoon.

President Trump has made reducing the number of people crossing the border from Mexico to the United States a key part of his government. He accuses cross-border commuters from the south of bringing economic and social problems to the United States.

He announced last week that the border should be closed due to coronavirus.

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Across the border, according to the Republic, Arizona has reported over 400 infections and has reported a Covid 19 case in every county bordering Mexico. The United States has the third highest number of registered coronavirus infections worldwide.

Sonora has registered only four cases nationwide. The first case was confirmed on March 16 as an elderly man who had recently returned from the United States.

Amlo has been criticized at home and abroad for its slow response to the pandemic and its willingness to continue to rally, shake hands, and kiss babies, while much of the world has started seeking shelter in their homes.

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