After smashing Trump piñatas, Mexicans hope he loses

2016-11-07 09:41
Protesters burn and hang a pinata of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a protest in Mexico City. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP)

Protesters burn and hang a pinata of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a protest in Mexico City. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP)

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Mexico City – Mexicans have smashed Donald Trump piñatas and torched the Republican White House hopeful's effigy. Now they hope he will crash and burn in Tuesday's US presidential election.

The New York billionaire became Mexico's bogeyman ever since he called migrants "rapists" and drug dealers when he launched his campaign last year.

"The guy is a clown, a blowhard," said Jafet Granados, an 18-year-old biotechnology student who was standing under Mexico City's Angel of Independence monument.

"If he wins, he won't do half of what he has promised."

The government certainly sees risks in a Trump victory.

With his vows to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement and make Mexico pay billions of dollars to build a massive border wall, Trump's rise in opinion polls just before the vote contributed to the fall of the peso.

But Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said while a Trump victory would undoubtedly cause more "volatility" in the markets, the country was on strong financial footing to deal with it.

And central bank chief Agustin Carstens, who warned in September that Trump could hit Mexico like a powerful "hurricane", said this week that the government had a contingency plan to weather the storm.

Slim vs Trump

Not everyone in Mexico is putting a brave face on a possible victory for the 70-year-old Manhattan property mogul.

Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim has warned that a Trump administration would "destroy" the US economy by imposing big tariffs on imports.

"As we say in Mexico, being a drunk is different from being a bartender," Slim quipped to reporters on Friday.

Trump lashed out at Slim last month after The New York Times published claims from women accusing the real estate baron of sexual misconduct. Slim is the newspaper's largest shareholder.

Despite Trump's unpopularity in Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto made the shocking decision to invite him to his official residence in August.

The invitation and Pena Nieto's failure to forcefully criticise Trump during a joint news conference angered Mexicans.

Pena Nieto defended the move, saying it was important to open dialogue with someone who could be the next US president, though he admitted that he may have rushed to hold the meeting and failed to anticipate the anger it would cause.

Republican in Mexico: 'Disgrace'

"The majority of Mexicans don't want [Trump] to win," Jose Antonio Crespo, a political expert at the Economic and Teaching Research Centre, told AFP.

"The bilateral relation will be more quarrelsome than it normally is," Crespo said.

Marcos Reyes, 46, who works at an advertising firm, said he feared that Trump would go through with mass deportations while those who remain in the United States would have "few opportunities" to have a better life.

Even the Republican Party's representative in Mexico, Larry Rubin, is not voting Trump.

"It wouldn't be good for the United States and much less for relations between the United States and Mexico," Rubin, a dual US-Mexican citizen, told the Televisa network.

"His rhetoric has been very negative," he said. "It would be a disgrace."


Are you following the US Election? Where in SA will you be watching? Who do you want to win? Send us your thoughts!

For all the latest updates on the US 2016 Election, head over to our special report page. 

We will be bringing you live updates throughout the night, straight into results, on 8 November.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  mexico  |  us 2016 elections

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