Following Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas, Mexico offered to send aid to the United States in the form of supplies and doctors. However, after a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico’s Pacific coast last week, the Mexican government has withdrawn its offer (which the United States took nine days to partially accept) in order to better deal with its own natural disaster crisis.
After the earthquake killed at least 96 people and left over 2.5 million people in need of aid, and Hurricane Katia hit the Gulf side further straining emergency services, Mexico’s foreign ministry announced that the country was no longer in position to send food, beds, generators, and other supplies as well as doctors that had been earmarked to be sent to Texas. Per the foreign ministry:
“Given these circumstance, the Mexican government will channel all available logistical support to serve the families and communities affected in the national territory.”
The withdrawal makes sense given that Mexico is dealing with its own response to a natural disaster and the U.S. accepted “only certain logistical aid” from Mexico’s offer two days before the earthquake happened. While Mexico’s (volunteer) Red Cross sent relief supplies, the Mexican government did not.
At the same time, relations between the countries have become strained because of President Trump’s threats to cut off trade with Mexico amid demands that Mexico pays for a border wall. The Mexican media has jumped over the fact that President Trump hasn’t publicly spoken about the earthquake or acknowledged Mexico’s original aid offer. In its statement about the aid offer being withdrawn, the foreign ministry specifically thanked Texas governor Greg Abbott for publicly expressing solidarity after the earthquake.
The statement also mentioned that Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray is set to visit the U.S. this week and meet with California governor Jerry Brown as well as DACA recipients, so the Mexican media might be onto something.