Mexico readies relief aid for Texas flood victims
Hurricane relief aid from Mexico could cross the border into Texas as early as Wednesday, according to Mexican government officials.
Carlos Manuel Sada, Mexico’s undersecretary for North American relations, told CNN that Mexico is mobilizing efforts and, he said, the US government has accepted its offer to help hurricane victims. The first “package,” he said, will cross by land into Texas through Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
The US government has not made an official announcement to accept Mexico’s aid offer, although Texas Gov. Greg Abott has publicly said he welcomes the help.
“This morning we gave the green light to start concentrating the goods that will be sent to the United States,” Sada said
The Mexican government plans to send a caravan of 25 trailers filled with commodities including rice, beans, coffee and chocolate. Mexico also plans to send 300 beds, nine generators, water treatment equipment, three mobile kitchens, radio and satellite equipment, and personnel.
Mexican paramedics, doctors and rescue teams will be on hand to help Hurricane Harvey victims, according to Sada, who added that the aid will be distributed throughout Texas, and possibly Louisiana.
“We are very pleased to be able to support our brothers in need on the other side of the border,” he said.
Mexican government officials announced their offer last Sunday in a statement responding to President Trump’s tweets bashing Mexico for violence and the trade deal between the countries. According to the statement, hurricane aid was offered “as good neighbors should always do in difficult times.”
“If it were the other way around, I think they would help us, too,” Sada said.
Asked directly if he believed President Trump would help Mexico in the same way, Sada hesitated, and said it would be Trump’s decision.
Trump’s talk of a new border wall, immigration crackdown, and his characterization of the trade deal between the two countries has created a fractured relationship and controversy on both sides of the border.
Maria Mora, a volunteer for the Mexican Red Cross, said it doesn’t matter where the help is needed.
“One of our objectives is to mitigate human suffering.”
A group from the Mexican Red Cross arrived in Houston on Friday to help distribute food, according to the agency.
Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked Mexico’s foreign minister for the offer, but did not immediately accept the help.
Abbott, on the other hand, said he welcomes the help from Mexico and is working to coordinate efforts with his southern neighbor.
It’s not the first time Mexico has sent hurricane relief aid to the United States. In 2005, a Mexican army convoy crossed the border to help Hurricane Katrina victims.
Mexico is sending help north again as it faces its own problems from Lidia, the tropical storm that destroyed infrastructure and claimed lives after striking Baja California on Friday.
According to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the storm dumped three times the amount of rain the southern part of Baja California typically gets in a year.
After taking a tour on Saturday, Peña Nieto said about a thousand people remain in shelters, many of whom have lost their own homes.
Mexican government officials told CNN the United States has not offered assistance to Tropical Storm Lidia victims.