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President's party slams Mexican senators who battered Trump piñata

The parliamentary club of the Institutional Revolutionary Party of President Enrique Pena Nieto has distanced itself from senators who hit a piñata in the image of US president-elect Donald Trump. It's a Christmas thing.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) said in a statement that the beating did not "reflect the feelings or the position" of its MPs.

A video obtained by Mexican news channel El Universal showed a group of senators from the left-of-center party at a private holiday dinner using a wooden bat to hit  the papier-mache figure.

In the video, Sen. Miguel Barbosa is heard saying "let's send a greeting to Donald" - before hitting the figure with a stick.

Holiday fun

"It is a custom in Mexico to break pinatas. We don't need to get alarmed," the Democratic Revolution Party's secretary-general Beatriz Mojica said on Thursday. "Holiday piñatas often represent "malevolent" figures, she said.

A former Mexican ambassador to the US, Arturo Sarukhan, called the incident "regrettable." "We need professionalism, seriousness and statesmanship to face the challenges that are coming," he said.

Trump's anti-Mexican statements

During his electoral campaign, Trump made derogatory statements about Mexican migrants in the US and promised to erect a wall at the US-Mexico border to prevent the passage of immigrants.

He also said he would force the Mexican government to pay for it.

The billionaire has also said he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and has threatened to penalize US companies moving factories to Mexico.

jbh/bw (dpa, AP, AFP)

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