Mexico Presidential Hopeful Dings Trump on Human Rights in Petition

WASHINGTON – Mexican presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador filed a petition Wednesday with an international human rights commission asking it to denounce President Donald Trump’s border wall plans and alleging “persecution” of migrants in the U.S.

Lopez Obrador filed the petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States. It’s job is to promote and protect human rights in the Americas.

Lopez Obrador’s stop in Washington has been one of several he’s made in U.S. cities to meet and rally with Mexican and other immigrants in this country.

Some 12,000 people signed the petition Lopez Obrador filed, including Mexicans and U.S. citizens, Lopez Obrador said. In addition, he and his party are seeking an international injunction against Trump’s executive orders.

“We’ve requested that the massive deportation of Mexican migrants be stopped,” said Netzaí Sandoval, an attorney who travels with Lopez Obrador. “And we have indicated the violation of human rights of Mexicans through the use of a racist and discriminatory discourse.”

Lopez Obrador made the comments at a bilingual news conference held at the National Press Club.

Lopez Obrador is a leftist candidate who is considered the frontrunner in Mexico’s 2018 presidential race, although official filings don’t begin until the summer and other candidates may jump in.

His campaign on the ticket of the MORENA party, which he created, has benefited from a spike in gasoline prices in Mexico and other economic ills, frustration with government corruption and nationalist pride against Trump. He was a presidential candidate in 2006 and 2012 and his razor-thin loss in 2006 brought Mexico City to a standstill.

In addition to launching the salvo against Trump, Lopez Obrador ‘s move was a slam against Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto and his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI.

“We are proceeding legally against the complete absence of the Mexican government,” Lopez Obrador said.

He said that Peña Nieto is acting submissively and is not defending the…