Trump says Mexico 'most dangerous country in the world'
President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that Mexico is "now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world" in a bid to garner support for his long-promised wall along the U.S. border with the country.
"We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"If there is no Wall, there is no Deal!" he added as lawmakers scramble to broker a last-minute agreement to fund the government, with Democrats refusing to fund the barrier Trump said Mexico would pay for.
Mexico has indignantly refused the suggestion at every turn, and said Thursday that it will not pay for it "in any way or under any circumstances".
The Mexican Foreign Ministry further disputed Trump's characterization of Mexico as the "most dangerous country in the world".
"While Mexico has a significant problem of violence, it is manifestly false that Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world," the ministry said in an English-language statement.
Mexico pointed to UN figures to back up its claim, saying that solely in Latin America other countries have higher homicide rates than Mexico.
In addition, the World Economic Forum does not rank Mexico among the top 20 most dangerous countries in the world. It ranks Mexico at 113th place among 136 nations in terms of safety and security.
For reference, the top five most dangerous nations in the forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report are Colombia, Yemen, El Salvador, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Moreover, the Global Peace Index ranks Mexico 143 out of the world's 163 most peaceful countries, again not putting it in the top 20 least peaceful nations.
In an earlier tweet, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall "directly or indirectly", pointing to ongoing free trade negotiations.
"The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion-dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion-dollar Wall is 'peanuts' compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!" he wrote.
Mexico completely dismissed the notion, saying in its Foreign Ministry statement, "Mexico will not negotiate NAFTA or any other aspect of the bilateral relationship through social media or any other news platform."