Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is urging the U.S. to make a decision to enact gun control in the wake of Saturday’s shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas that killed 22 people and injured dozens more.
“We are very respectful of what other governments decide, but we think that these unfortunate events in the U.S. should prompt reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of guns,” he said at a press conference Monday, according to a translation from Bloomberg News.
Mexican officials said on Monday that eight of the country’s citizens have died in the massacre.
López Obrador’s latest statement is tougher than remarks he gave Saturday, when he called the shooting “a product of [societal] decomposition, of problems certain people have” rather than “a generalized issue,” The Washington Post reported.
The suspected gunman ― a 21-year-old white male ― may have posted a white supremacist manifesto online before the attack, spouting hatred for Hispanic people, decrying “race-mixing” and calling immigrants “invaders” and “instigators.”
Authorities are treating the case as domestic terrorism and prosecutors are pursuing federal hate crime charges against the suspect.
Instead, he asserted that “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger ― not the gun,” clearly distancing himself from Democratic calls for gun control.
Trump also called on the nation to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” though he made no mention of his role in stoking such ideologies.
On Twitter, Trump suggested “marrying” background check legislation with immigration reform, declaring that “something good, if not GREAT” could emerge from both shootings.
On Sunday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard posted a taped statement on Twitter denouncing the violence in El Paso.
“Mexico declares its profound rejection and complete condemnation of this barbaric act, in which innocent Mexican men and women lost their lives,” he said, according to a translation from Politico.
Ebrard also said Mexico’s attorney general will consider legal action to declare that an act of terror was committed against Mexican citizens, stating, “this individual is a terrorist.”