EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Mexican officials say they want full accountability regarding the murder of eight of their citizens during Saturday’s mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
The officials also said they will be assisting survivors and the families of the victims should they wish to pursue lawsuits against alleged mass murderer Patrick Crusius or the manufacturers of the AK-47 that took their lives.
“We need to defend the rights of Mexican citizens who were the victims of this crime. We have the right to investigate, both at the federal and the state level, this incident against our countrymen. It is our moral and legal right,” said Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral. Eight of the 22 people murdered at the Walmart were Mexican citizens, five of them from Chihuahua, which includes Juarez just across the border from El Paso.
Corral on Monday was at the Mexican consulate in El Paso to meet in private with visiting Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who is here to talk to American officials regarding the mass shooting and to meet with the victims’ families.
“We’re exploring whether this individual acted alone. He may have physically (executed) the shooting alone, but we want the investigation to go deeper into who he was in contact with, whether there could be a network of people who think like he did,” the Chihuahua governor said.
Corral said most of the Mexican citizens who survived the shooting are now out of danger at El Paso hospitals. He also said the shooting has raised concerns among the thousands of Mexicans who travel to El Paso every day to shop, work, do business or visit family members.
“Juarez-El Paso is one big, binational community. We have many things in common beyond doing business. We share the same culture, the same taste in music and food, we have family ties,” the governor said.
The safety of Mexicans who come across into the United States “should be a permanent guarantee, we should not have to demand it. … We will defend their rights and demand reparation of damages for the victims, more so when it came in such a premeditated and racist manner,” Corral said.
Corral also chastised President Trump for fanning anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States. American authorities are investigating whether Crusius wrote a manifesto prior to the shooting, bemoaning the immigrant “invasion” of the United States and the expansion of the Hispanic population in Texas.
Trump “is not exercising the mission of moral and political leadership that historically has fallen on U.S. presidents. Instead of contributing to a narrative of peace, unity and brotherhood, his discourse has generated among certain circles an environment of discrimination and hate toward certain people,” Corral said.