“It’s very important to persevere, to specify, clarify and demand that measures are taken so that this is not repeated, and the first measure is to classify it for what it is, an act of terrorism,” Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard said in a news conference, adding that steps need to be taken to prevent future killings.
The shooting occurred Saturday morning in the heavily Hispanic border city of El Paso, where a white supremacist gunman killed 22 people, including eight Mexican citizens, at a Walmart store before surrendering.
As the killings prompted widespread revulsion in Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration said it will request that the suspected perpetrator be extradited to Mexico for trial, a claim that was reiterated at a public event later on Wednesday.
“We’re going to ask for this person to be judged here, too. We’re going to ask for his extradition, and the full weight of the law will be felt,” the head of state said, adding that Mexico does not allow the death penalty but can impose severe sentences.
“We don’t want this to happen again, we don’t want these hate crimes,” he added.
A four-page statement believed to have been written by the suspected shooter, Patrick Crusius, and posted on 8chan, an online message board often used by extremists, called the El Paso attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
And, according to an El Paso police affidavit released on Friday, Crusius told police while surrendering that he had been targeting “Mexicans.”