MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon demanded Thursday a thorough investigation of the recent killings of two Mexicans by U.S. border agents that have fanned tensions in Mexico over border policing.
Calderon’s statement followed an expression of concern by the foreign ministry over the fatal shooting by U.S. border patrol guards this week of a teen-ager a few steps into Mexican territory at the Ciudad Juarez border crossing.
“The Mexican government is shocked and outraged by the killings of two nationals by the U.S. border patrol,” Calderon said in a statement. “We are concerned by the surge of violence against Mexicans along with other recent anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican demonstrations in the United States.”
Tensions over U.S. treatment of illegal foreign migrants on its soil, most of whom are Mexicans seeking menial jobs, flared recently when the border state of Arizona passed a harsh law requiring local police officers to detain people they suspect are in the country illegally.
Last month a Mexican man was beaten by U.S. border agents and shocked with a taser gun during his arrest at the border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego. He died from his injuries a few days later.
While Mexico has pushed for years for a bilateral migration accord that could improve migrant rights, the United States has opted for beefing up border controls and policing.
Calderon, stuck in a brutal drug war that has prompted many Mexicans to flee northern cities and towns and seek refuge over the U.S. border, demanded an unbiased and objective probe into both killings and said guilty parties should be punished.
Mexican Interior Minister Fernando Gomez Mont recently discussed the killings in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and called for a review of security protocols at the border, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
An estimated 10.8 million illegal immigrants live in the United States, most of them from Mexico and Central America, and tens of thousands try each year to sneak over the border.
Editing by Catherine Bremer and Eric Walsh