The cynics among his supporters suggested that the Democrats and/or the President's "deep state" foes might secretly be behind the large-scale organized exodus of at least 5,000 Central Americans to the US, which Trump himself has repeatedly implied is a credible theory. He's blamed his opponents for seeking to politically benefit from this suspicious crisis, but is masterfully trying to turn it around on them so that it doesn't deal any damage to the Republicans before the midterm elections in less than two weeks' time.
One of Trump's most successful tactics in this respect has been the intense pressure that he's putting on Central American and Mexican governments to proactively disband the caravan before it comes anywhere near the US' borders. He threatened to immediately suspend all aid to Honduras and Guatemala if they didn't do their part to responsibly rein in their citizens, and he was even able to get Mexico to deploy riot police to its southern border, although they ultimately proved ineffective in stopping the caravan because they lacked the political will to resort to the violent means that were necessary to prevent it from crossing into its borders.
This has nevertheless put Mexico in the spotlight for a few reasons, the most headline-grabbing of which is that Trump threatened to close the US' southern border if it doesn't stop the caravan from heading northward. He also promised to send the military there, too. On top of that, Mexico has officially requested the assistance of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) along its own border with Guatemala, which is evoking shades of the organization's role in the much worse Mideast Migrant Crisis. Furthermore, Mexico is in the midst of a political transition after this summer's elections that will be completed at the beginning of December, and it also signed a reformed NAFTA deal with the US, too.
Now is certainly not the best time for Mexico to be destabilized by another Caravan Crisis, and it doesn't help any that the US now has more leverage on it than ever before given the sensitive domestic context in which this is happening, as well as Washington's threats to close the border and possibly even weaponize the newly agreed USMC free trade agreement.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Hrvoje Morić, former adjunct professor of International Relations at México's Tecnológico de Monterrey, a Global Perspectives Teacher at the Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Kazakhstan, and the host of The Geopolitics & Empire Podcast, and Luis Lazaro Tijerina, Mexican-American political commentator and author with a Master of Arts in history.
Want to sound off and share what you think about this? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook!