Rebuking claims made by Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday said that, in fact, his country will not pay for the proposed wall that the Republican presidential frontrunner has vowed to build along the United States' southern border.
In an interview published at the Mexican newspaper Excelsior, Peña Nieto was asked if there was a "scenario" under which Mexico would pay if Trump won the presidency. "There is no scenario," he responded. "I have to say that I regret [the plan], and of course, I can't agree with this American politician's position."
Peña Nieto went on to denounce the faux-populism of Trump's campaign, which he attacked for positing "very easy, simple solutions to problems that are obviously not that easy to solve."
"And there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity," Peña Nieto continued. "That's how Mussolini got in, that's how Hitler got in, they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis. And I think what [they] put forward ended up at what we know today from history, in global conflagration."
"We don't want that happening anywhere in the world," the Mexican president added.
Coincidentally, both Trump's notorious "wall" as well as Nazi motifs were present at the frontrunner's rally in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, as Jezebel's Aimée Lutkin pointed out.
Donald Trump makes members of his Orlando crowd raise their right hands and swear to vote in the primary. pic.twitter.com/EVenRilJrV— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) March 5, 2016
In a separate interview with El Universal on Monday, Peña Nieto said that Trump's comments—which include allegations that most Mexican immigrants are drug dealers and "rapists"—are "damaging" to U.S.-Mexico relations.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox also told reporters last week that he's "not going to pay for that fucking wall." Adding, "He should pay for it. He's got the money."
In addition to drawing the ire of Mexico's leaders, Trump's comments have also reportedly inspired a rush of Latino immigrants to register for naturalization so that they may cast a vote against him.
"People who are eligible are really feeling the urgency to get out there," Tara Raghuveer, deputy director of the immigrant rights coalition National Partnership for New Americans, told the New York Times. "They are worried by the prospect that someone who is running for president has said hateful things."
Meanwhile, a number of foreign diplomats have reportedly voiced concern over Trump's ascendance, which officials described as being "highly unusual...in the midst of a presidential campaign."