The Cielo Vista Mall earned national notoriety on Saturday when a gunman — apparently motivated by hate of Latino immigrants — shot 20 dead people at the Walmart next door to the mall.
Among the dead were seven Mexican nationals, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said. And more than five Mexican citizens were injured.
Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico would consider legal action against whoever sold the gun that was used, and would also consider filing terrorism charges against anyone implicated in the shooting. Those responsible could face extradition to Mexico, he said.
Ebrard also called on Washington “to take a clear and forceful position against hate crimes.”
“Mexico expresses its deepest rejection and condemnation towards this barbaric act where innocent Mexicans lost their lives,” Marcelo Ebrard said in a video posted on Twitter.
Some are aware of the irony that El Paso is generally viewed as a low-crime safe haven compared with its Mexican sister city, Ciudad Juarez, which has long been plagued by cartel wars. The Mexican city became infamous for mostly unsolved murders of women and images of gang victims’ remains hung from bridges. Many Juarez residents with means have relocated to El Paso and purchased homes there.
Border towns like El Paso-Juarez, home to some 2 million people, are sometimes best viewed as single metropolitan areas, sharing common populations, cultures and language — mostly Spanish.
A bus ticket from the international bridge in Juarez to the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso costs $10. It’s a popular trip.
“I won’t stop going to Walmart,” vowed Carmen Luna Perez, 63, who carried a cloth Walmart bag as she waited to board a bus to El Paso, just half a mile away on the bridge. “That’s where I do all my shopping. It has the best bargains,” added Luna Perez.
Many seemed to blame President Trump for inflaming passions against immigrants and Mexicans in particular.
“A lot of people think it was Trump who incited all this,” said Jesus Perez, 47, a maintenance man at the bus stop. “He’s saying all this stuff to win votes, but it drives some people to do crazy things.”
Angel Carrillo, 25, agreed.
“If your president says that immigrants are garbage of course some people will believe that,” said Carrillo.