Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was severely criticized on Wednesday, 26th June after haunting photos emerged of a Salvadoran man and his two-year-old daughter who drowned while trying to reach the United States.
Lopez Obrador rose to power in December, pledging to safeguard migrants' rights. Following pressure from the US President Donald Trump, who threatened to impose trade tariffs on Mexico, Obrador agreed this month to penalise undocumented Central Americans who cross the US Mexico-United States border illegally according to AFP.
Critics, including some prominent members of his own party, accused Lopez Obrador of pushing vulnerable migrants into situations of extreme danger by making it hard for them to travel across the country to request asylum in the US.
"What is happening in this country is unacceptable. We are treating (migrants) like human meat, because of pressure from the great power (the United States)," said the speaker of the Lower House of Congress, Porfirio Munoz Ledo, a leading figure in Lopez Obrador's party, Morena.
The President responded that he has a "clear conscience."
The Mexican President was cited in a press conference saying, "We believe it is necessary to maintain good relations with the United States government, to avoid confrontation. We are going to prove the value of our proposal to promote economic development in Central America."