Top Mexican official: 'A very big effort needs to be made' on border with Guatemala

Top Mexican official: 'A very big effort needs to be made' on border with Guatemala
© Reuters

Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday that the nation must improve security infrastructure on its southern border for Mexico’s agreement with the U.S. to avoid tariffs to succeed, according to Reuters.

“There must be a different presence of the Mexican state in the south,” Ebrard told reporters Tuesday, saying efforts to modernize the nation’s northern border had largely come at the expense of upgrading its border with Guatemala.

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During a Tuesday news conference with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Ebrard said the country is accelerating the deployment and that immigration facilities in southern Mexico must be upgraded.

Ebrard added that a comprehensive plan to address migrants from Central America is in the works, “because the reality is that a very big effort needs to be made,” according to Reuters.

“You go to the south and the first thing you ask yourself is ‘right, where’s the border?’ There’s nothing. The idea is to make the south like the north as far as possible,” Ebrard said.

The deal struck between Mexican and U.S. officials to avert the 5 percent tariffs, which were to rise incrementally to 25 percent, includes Mexico’s deployment of 6,000 troops to its southern border.

The Mexican government said Monday it had 45 days to show its moves had been effective. President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE tweeted Sunday that if cooperation with Mexico could not be achieved, “we can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs.”