News / USA

Mexican President Calderon to Make State Visit to Washington


Robert Raffaele

Mexican President Felipe Calderon will be in Washington Wednesday and Thursday for a state visit that will include an address to a joint session of Congress.  Mr. Calderon's trip comes as both nations publicly claim greater cooperation in tackling violence stemming from cross-border drug trafficking, as well as immigration and trade issues.

Both presidents consider their efforts crucial to future generations of Americans and Mexicans.

And Presidents Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon have pledged cooperation on a wide range of issues - especially border security aimed at battling drug and gun trafficking, and the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

"We have to acknowledge that we live in a common house, in a common region. And the future of one country will be tied to the other," said Juan Pardinis, with the Woodrow Wilson International Center's Mexico Institute.  

He said Mexico should push for labor reforms and better education to give its youth viable, legal alternatives to the drug trade.

And the U.S. Congress should approve more funding to Mexico for training, equipment and other initiatives to fight the drug trade.

Since December 2006, Mr. Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 troops to combat the drug cartels. But escalating violence has killed more than 22,000 people since then.

No new initiatives are expected during Mr. Calderon's visit.

"Overall, this will be a meeting about reaffirming the status quo, reaffirming the progress that's being made on lots of different issues, but not one with a big ambitious agenda," said Shannon O'Neil, who is with the Council on Foreign Relations. She says Mr. Calderon will likely restate his opposition to a new law in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona that requires immigrants to carry registration documents at all times. Both Mr. Calderon and Mr. Obama say the measure encourages unfair profiling of Mexicans.

But O'Neil says the Obama administration must not allow Mr. Calderon's criticism to deflect attention from joint U.S.-Mexican successes, especially in the war on drugs. "They need to validate that this is the way forward with Mexico, and in general, by being seen together and talking about things in a quite positive way that it is worth this investment in security," she said.

Mr. Calderon's term in office ends in two years. Some analysts see him as a "lame duck" president with a keen interest in support from Washington.

Political analyst Denise Dresser said, "He wants American validation for the war on drugs. He wants a big pat on the back. He wants recognition for his boldness, bravery,  his willingness to take on organized crime, at a time when the war on drugs is increasingly unpopular in his own country. I think Felipe Calderon is coming here with the hope that once President Obama embraces him and says all the right things in terms of applauding what he has done right over the past three years. he can bolster his political legitimacy."

A recent poll in Mexico (by the GEA-ISA firm) shows that 52 percent of Mexicans would support the comeback of the PRI party, after 12 years of rule by Mr. Calderon's National Action Party.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs