Nogales, Sonora — A group of Mexican nationals have begun protesting the allowed entry of American nationals crossing the border without being checked for coronavirus.
The group is stationed in the city of Nogales in the state of Sonora that shares a border with the US state of Arizona. The group began protesting Wednesday, preventing the entry of Americans from the Arizona state fearing that the dangerous spread of the coronavirus would continue in its state.
“Stay home” and “We demand the closure of the border,” read some signs held by people with face masks that temporarily blocked the Nogales main entrance from Arizona to Mexico.
Protesters demanded greater controls and screenings on southbound traffic at the U.S.-Mexico border out of concern that travelers from the U.S. could import new cases of the coronavirus into Mexico.
The protesters also demanded that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador restrict the entry of Americans and that coronavirus tests are performed before anyone is allowed to enter Mexico.
Thousands of Americans have been crossing into Mexico to buy basic products such as personal hygiene items and medical supplies due to a shortage in the US. American panic purchases of bottled water, toilet paper, canned food and hand sanitizer are the most requested items.
As of Thursday, the border state of Sonora had only three registered cases of coronaviruses, while in Arizona, there were already 508 infections and at least 6 deaths.
Their demonstration had immediate results with a federal judge in Sonora granting an Amparo on Wednesday, so that U.S. visitors can only cross into Nogales for essential trips. The judge also instructed that stricter sanitary measures be administered at that port of entry into Mexico.
As of March 26, the U.S. has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any country in the world with more than 85,000 and nearly 1,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Last week, nearly 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment.