On August 31, more than a year after Donald Trump announced his presidential bid and accused Mexico of sending over “criminals and rapists,” the business mogul met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto after he invited him to visit the country. The meeting angered millions of Mexican and U.S. citizens, including Academy Award-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who penned a scathing op-ed for the Spanish newspaper El País criticizing Peña Nieto’s decision to meet with Trump.
“The invitation by Enrique Peña Nieto to Donald Trump is a betrayal,” said “The Revenant” helmer, adding that he felt deep sadness, anger and shame.
“It gives validity to a man who has insulted us, spat in our faces, and threatened us for over a year in front of the entire world,” Iñárritu wrote. “It shows a lack of dignity and in turn strengthens a political campaign of hatred toward us, toward half of the world, and toward the most vulnerable minorities on the planet. It puts our future and the lives of 16 million Mexicans at risk.”
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The four-time Oscar winner didn’t stop there. Defending Mexicans for being honest, hard working and proudly contributing to the United States, he added, “But, by mutual convenience, they will remain a community of 11 million invisible people.”
Stating that the Mexican government should have named Trump “persona non grata” a long time ago, Iñárritu stated that, “[Trump] preaches hate and division in his own country and shamelessly distorts reality, countless US television stations, international corporations, heads of states and members of his own party have ended relationships and contracts with an individual whose terrifying sociopathic and fascist outbursts have polluted the world and hurt the fundamental values that Americans are proud of.”
Trump has made his opposition to undocumented immigration in the U.S. a major element of his campaign and even stated that he would create a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border that Mexico would pay for.
“Yet, unexpectedly, our president has asked him to visit our country, giving him an opportunity and a platform that Trump has used to crown himself in Arizona,” the “Birdman” director continued. “One hundred and sixty-eight years ago, Antonio López de Santa Ana gave away almost half of our territory. President Peña Nieto has just given away the little bit of dignity that was left us.”
“After this act, and as a Mexican citizen, I say that Enrique Peña Nieto no longer represents me,” he concluded.