Mexican protesters in the town of Sonora just south of the U.S. state of Arizona have shut down a section of the US southern border because of mounting fears that untested Americans will come into Mexico and spread the coronavirus.
The protesters have vowed to block traffic into Mexico for the third day after closing checkpoints for hours on Wednesday. Protesters wore masks and waved signs telling Americans to “stay home” and “stay out of Mexico.”
Mexico has had less 500 confirmed Covid-19 cases and the US over 65,000.
The US/Mexico border is supposed to be closed except for “essential business,” however protesters say that there has been little to no enforcement and no testing by Mexican authorities. The protests are being led by the group Sonorans for Health and Life, who have called for medical testing to be done on anyone who crosses into Mexico from the United States.
“There are no health screenings by the federal government to deal with this pandemic. That’s why we’re here in Nogales. We’ve taken this action to call on the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to act now,” Jose Luis Fernandez, a member of the group told the Arizona Republic.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the president of Mexico has repeatedly criticized Donald Trump for his lack of response to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, Fernandez told a local media outlet that the group’s protests were a “first warning” to President Obrador, who is better known by his initials, AMLO.
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The group is calling for there to be enforcement of the crossing ban on all US or Mexican citizens whether it is for tourism or medical reasons. They also want to see them stop individuals from crossing the border for school or work until the virus is gone.