Latin America & Caribbean

Mexicans direct anger at president over Trump visit

US presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) delivers a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City on August 31, 2016 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Enrique Pena Nieto and Donald Trump have differing accounts of their meeting

Donald Trump's visit to Mexico on Wednesday came somewhat out of the blue, announced only a day before the trip took place.

In his few hours across the border, he called Mexicans "amazing" and "spectacular" people - in contrast to earlier comments branding Mexican migrants "rapists" and "murderers".

Mexicans had made their views clear to the US Republican presidential candidate before he arrived, saying in no uncertain terms that he was not welcome.

But the real target of anger over Mr Trump's subdued visit was the man who invited him - President Enrique Pena Nieto, who did not respond as Mr Trump discussed building a wall on their border.

The criticism could not come at a worse time for the president, whose approval ratings in the middle of last month sat at only 23%.

How Mexico responded

"Without a doubt, my perception is that it is going to make it even worse, even stronger the drop in approval" - Javier Urbano Reyes, a professor of International Studies at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City, to AP

Image copyright @CarlosLoret
Image caption Carlos Loret de Mola, a commentator with the Televisa news channel, wrote: "Mexico isn't offended by the invitation to Donald Trump - it is (expletive) off. Does Pena Nieto know what he's doing?"
Image copyright @CarlosLoret
Image caption "Trump can leave at ease now. The humiliation is complete"

"What is in his head inviting Donald Trump? We Mexicans have dignity and a memory. Donald Trump is not welcome in Mexico" - Ricardo Anaya, president of the opposition PAN party

""Today is the worst political moment for Donald Trump, with this absurd meeting in Mexico with President Pena. It's about rescuing someone who is starting to agonise about their poll numbers. It's giving an event, in Mexico, the country that he has insulted. He is the first leader to tend to the hand of xenophobia, to a tyrant. That is inadmissible under any perspective, and secondly, a president is to meet with his peers, not candidates" - PAN senator Gabriela Cuevas (although it is worth pointing out that Republican candidate John McCain also visited Mexico, and Colombia, during the 2008 presidential race)

Mexicans tell Trump: 'You're not welcome'

Image copyright @magamastretta
Image caption Author Angeles Mastretta wrote: "As expected: a president incapable of demanding an apology... incapable of taking offense at the mere mention of the wall. Very sad."

"I don't understand what's going on here, and I really apologise for our president taking this step forward. I think President Pena is taking an enormous political risk by hosting Trump" - former president Vicente Fox to CNN

"The president allowed him to humiliate him and the Mexican people in our home, in our country, and then he went back to the US and in Arizona he mocked the president and everything he said here... And I could not conceive a worse situation for the president of Mexico now, I really can't" - Agustin Bastave, MP with opposition PRD party, speaking to the BBC

"It doesn't strike me as brave to meet someone who has insulted us to such a degree" - historian Enrique Krauze, on Mexico's biggest morning television show

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Media captionWhat do Mexicans think of Donald Trump and his wall?

What Enrique Pena Nieto then said

After the meeting, Mr Trump said he and the president did not discuss the controversial border wall.

But soon after, Mr Pena Nieto took to Twitter to say: "At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall."

In an interview with Televisa after the meeting, the president then said he had arranged the meeting as he was "convinced that we must confront the problems, threats and risks facing Mexico", adding that he felt there had been "a change of tone, a recognition of Mexico's importance" by Mr Trump, and that the meeting had been a "rapprochement".

Mexican and US Latino media critical over Trump visit - By BBC Monitoring

Mr Trump's visit to Mexico dominates the front pages in both the Mexican and Latino papers in the US with many criticising President Pena Nieto for having invited him to a formal meeting.

Mr Pena Nieto's leadership qualities are called into question in an opinion piece in the Mexican daily, Excelsior, titled "Trump Veni, Vidi, Vici".

Mr Trump's visit is described as nothing short of a "capitulation" on the part of the Mexican leader, who is accused of failing in his duty to "protect all Mexicans in and out of the country".

However, rival paper El Universal defended the decision saying Mr Pena Nieto's meeting with Donald Trump was a "necessary step" in securing Mexico's relationship with its most important economic and political partner.

For its part, the Los Angeles based La Opinion said it was hard to understand why Mr Trump had been invited to Mexico "especially after all the insults the latter has spewed against Mexican immigrants and Mexico's leaders".

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