WASHINGTON: Mexicans on Sunday burned effigies of US President Barack Obama and Republican front-runner Donald Trump to mark their Easter celebrations, CNN reported.
The Mexican tradition is similar to the “burning of Judas”, in which Christians burn effigies of Judas around Easter. In Mexico, people burn cardboard effigies of politicians and criminals to show their rejection of corruption and other evil deeds.
The CNN report noted that Mr Trump was a predictable choice as he called Mexicans migrating to the United States “criminals” and “rapists” during his election campaign.
He has also vowed to build a wall on the US-Mexican border to prevent illegal border-crossings and force Mexico to pay for it. His statement annoyed many in Mexico, including its current and former presidents.
Even Pope Francis condemned his plan, saying that anyone who wants to build a wall of separation “is not Christian”.
Mr Trump, however, rejected the criticism, saying it was “disgraceful” for a religious leader to question a person’s faith.
There was also an effigy of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who escaped from prison and was recaptured in January.
A symbol of the abhorred militant Islamic State (IS) group also got thrown into the fire.
The CNN report noted that President Obama’s effigy also made the cut because US deportation of undocumented immigrants reached a record high in 2013.
President Obama has been under fire for increasing immigration raids and deportations during his administration.
Meanwhile, in a wide-ranging interview to The New York Times on foreign policy issues, Mr Trump said that if elected, he might halt purchases of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies unless they committed ground troops to the fight against IS terrorists.
If those countries failed to provide troops, they must “substantially reimburse” the United States for combating the militant group, which threatened their stability, he added.
Mr Trump also said he would seek to renegotiate many fundamental treaties with American allies, possibly including a 56-year-old security pact with Japan, which he described as one-sided.
He said that Nato was “unfair, economically” to the United States and suggested setting up an alternative organisation focused on counter-terrorism. He argued that the best way to halt China’s placement of military airfields and anti-aircraft batteries on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea was to threaten its access to American markets.
Mr Trump also suggested “take the oil” controlled by IS in the Middle East and acknowledged that this would require deploying ground troops, something he did not favour. “(So) now we have to destroy the oil,” he said.
He did not rule out spying on American allies, including leaders like Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, whose mobile phone was apparently a target of the National Security Agency.
Mr Trump referred briefly to North Korean and Pakistan while talking about countries that had nuclear weapons and whose weapons could reach non-state actors.