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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this April 9, 2019 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador answers questions from journalists at his daily 7 a.m. press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday. Obrador is planning to hold a "unity" rally on the border in Tijuana on Saturday, June 8, to "defend the dignity of Mexico." (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's president said Thursday he will hold a "unity" rally on the border in Tijuana two days before the U.S. is set to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced a demonstration will be held Saturday to defend the country's "dignity" amid a looming threat from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pledged to impose 5% tariffs on Mexican products unless the country prevents Central American migrants from traveling through its territory.

López Obrador expressed confidence that an agreement could be reached as talks continued Thursday, but did not offer any specifics beyond rejecting the use of force against migrants.

"I am calling together the people of Mexico ... for a rally to defend the dignity of Mexico, and in favor of friendship with the people of the United States," said the president, who has held a multitude of demonstrations while in public office over the last 20 years.

López Obrador has said over and over again that his goal is to avoid any confrontation with Trump, and he stressed Thursday that "U.S. authorities have behaved very well, because they have not cut off the dialogue."

He also confirmed Mexican prosecutors had taken two immigration activists into custody but denied the arrests were carried out to please the U.S. government.

"We do not act against anybody to please any foreign government," he said.

Rights groups said one of those arrested is Irineo Mujica, who has coordinated logistics and strategies for some of the migrant caravans that have crossed Mexico in previous months.

Mujica, of the migrant rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, appears to hold dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship and has had brushes in the past with Mexican police related to protests in favor of migrants.

The latest action by López Obrador comes amid growing anger on the part of Trump, who has railed against a huge increase in the number of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who cross Mexico to reach the U.S. border. While Mexico has been discouraging the kind of large-scale caravans that it saw in 2018 and the first few months of 2019, Trump wants Mexico to do more.

Mexico has rejected any "third safe country" agreement that would require migrants to apply for asylum in the country. However, the Mexican government has allowed the United States to return migrants from other countries and have them wait in Mexico while their U.S. asylum requests are processed.

On Wednesday, Mexican police and immigration agents blocked the advance of about 1,000 Central American migrants who were walking along a highway in southern Mexico.

The National Immigration Institute said about 420 migrants had agreed to be transported to a migrant detention center in the city of Tapachula. It said they would be processed there, and authorities would help some to return to their home countries if needed.

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Comments

  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    June 6, 2019 at 2:14 p.m.

    Didn't know Mexico had any dignity left. wonder why he immediately sent his negotiators to washington If he didn't think it was a sure thing. I know i sure can do without Mexican goods . heck i can't even drink their water without getting violently ill. Viva La America !

  • mozarky2
    June 6, 2019 at 2:50 p.m.

    Maybe some good news:
    Washington Post | June 6 2019 | by Nick Miroff , David J. Lynch and Kevin Sieff
    "Mexico aims to avoid tariffs with potential deal limiting migrants going north, allowing U.S. to deport Central American asylum seekers.
    U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing the outlines of a deal that would dramatically increase Mexico’s immigration enforcement efforts and give the United States far more latitude to deport Central Americans seeking asylum, according to a U.S. official and a Mexican official who cautioned that the accord is not finalized and that President Trump might not accept it.
    Faced with Trump’s threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexican goods beginning Monday, Mexican officials have pledged to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to the country’s border region with Guatemala, a show of force they say will make immediate reductions in the number of Central Americans heading north toward the U.S. border.
    The Mexican official and the U.S. official said the countries are negotiating a sweeping plan to overhaul asylum rules..." excerpt-read more behind the WaPo's paywall

  • RBear
    June 6, 2019 at 5:38 p.m.

    The copy/paste queen hard at work because he is brain dead on original thought.

  • SeanJohn
    June 6, 2019 at 6:06 p.m.

    Look out Moz, the comments police says you can’t copy and paste. I don’t think it matters if one uses excerpts from other news sources or adds their own thoughts. The comments section should really just be used to add supporting or opposing perspective to the Dem Gaz article. Glad to hear that Mexico has decided to help shoulder some of the burden of the migration crisis.

  • mozarky2
    June 6, 2019 at 6:38 p.m.

    RBear is a willfully ignorant nincompoop. This is the same person who said a $15 minimum wage wouldn't be passed on to consumers, and that the tariffs on Mexico would have no effect whatsoever.
    He is an object only deserving our pity.

  • mozarky2
    June 6, 2019 at 6:41 p.m.

    RBear, if you can post your ill-informed, untruthful crap here, I can copy and paste from reliable sources who have facts at hand.
    Get help for that uncontrolled rage. It's only getting worse, RB.

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