Friday, May 24, 2024

President Obama Heading to Mexico

Today President Barack Obama heads to Mexico City to meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderón before traveling to Trinidad and Tobago for the fifth Summit of the Americas. Obama will be the first American president to visit the Mexican capital since Bill Clinton did 12 years ago.

The meeting’s top issue will be drug violence and how the two countries can work together to strengthen Calderon’s efforts to fight drug cartels. On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced financial sanctions against members of three more Mexican drug cartels, categorizing them as “kingpins” under a law that permits the American government to seize their assets. In addition, yesterday Alan Bersin was named “border czar” to deal with the problems along the U.S.-Mexico border.

America’s border with Mexico spans more than 3,000 kilometers and drug-fueled violence along that border is a growing problem. Drug-related killings in Mexico’s northernmost states doubled last year to about 6,000, amid bloody battles between cartels and security forces.

Obama and his aides have been working hard to create a Mexico policy that has “shared responsibility” in combating the drug problem. Similarly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the President is likely to acknowledge that Americans play a role in the illicit drug consumption and that weapons from the United States are finding ways to get into the drug traffickers’ hands.

Obama says, “We have got to reduce the demand for drugs. We have got to do our part in reducing the flow of cash and guns south [to Mexico].”

Also likely on the agenda will be immigration reform. Yesterday the Pew Hispanic Center released a report stating that Mexicans now account for 32 percent of all immigrants in the United States. It is estimated that one of every 10 living persons born in Mexico now lives in the United States.

The president has described himself as “a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform,” saying he has met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus “to try to shape an agenda that can move through Congress.”

Trade will also be a likely subject on the agenda. A pilot project allowing some Mexican trucks to make cross-border deliveries was recently suspended by U.S. Congress. An international arbitrator has ruled in Mexico’s favor, and Obama has acknowledged that the United States is in violation of its NAFTA obligations. Whether the issue will be resolved is unclear.

Voice of America

New York Times




  1. We are waiting for Obama, let´s see if his visit brings any REAL changes or if as I suppose things will continue as always