News / Americas

Mexican President Calderon to Visit White House Thursday

President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico confer in the Oval Office, before their joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 19, 2010
President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico confer in the Oval Office, before their joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 19, 2010
Kent Klein

Mexican President Felipe Calderon Thursday visits Washington, where he is expected to talk with President Barack Obama about the drug war, economic issues and immigration.  The two presidents will meet after recent strains in U.S.-Mexican relations.

Presidents Obama and Calderon will talk in the Oval Office, weeks after a U.S. immigration and customs agent was killed in Mexico, and after U.S. diplomats’ criticism of Mexico’s fight against drugs was sent to the website WikiLeaks.

Thursday’s meeting was planned late last year, but last month’s shooting of Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime Zapata has added urgency to the security-related part of the agenda.

On Sunday, Mexico’s military arrested the alleged local head of the Zetas drug gang in the northern state of Coahuila, for whom the gunman was believed to be working.

A White House official Wednesday praised Mexico’s cooperation in investigating Zapata’s murder.  But officials in Washington have complained that U.S. agents are not allowed to carry guns in Mexico.

Recently-leaked cables from U.S. embassy personnel said that Mexico’s armed forces are ineffective and corrupt.

President Calderon responded last week that U.S. law enforcement agencies are not well coordinated, and that too little effort is going toward reducing Americans’ demand for illegal drugs.

In a meeting with Mr. Calderon last May, President Obama promised to fight that demand.

“U.S. demand for drugs helps to drive this public safety crisis within Mexico, and so we have got an obligation not to drive the demand side of the equation," said President Obama.

Mr. Obama is expected to assure his Mexican counterpart of his continued support for the Merida Initiative, a security cooperation agreement between the two countries.

The initiative was to expire this year.  But a senior administration official says the U.S. has spent more than $400 million to implement it so far this year, and will add another $500 million by year’s end.

Immigration issues also are expected to be high on Thursday’s agenda, although no breakthroughs are expected.

Last May, Mr. Calderon, speaking through an interpreter, called on Americans to oppose tough laws to stop illegal immigration, like the one passed last year in the state of Arizona.

“We will retain our firm rejection to criminalize migration, so that people that work and provide things to this nation will [not] be treated as criminals," said President Calderon.

The two leaders likely will address trade and economic issues as well.  And they are expected to discuss agenda items for the Group of 20 economic summit, scheduled for this year in Mexico.

Mr. Calderon also is expected to meet with John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives.  The Mexican president began his visit Wednesday by meeting with U.S. business leaders.  

White House spokesman Jay Carney said this week President Obama might discuss the turmoil in the Middle East when he and President Calderon speak to reporters.  An administration official said Mexico has been helpful in addressing the Middle East violence in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building 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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Rescued Chilean Miners Were 'Battle-Scarred,' Author Says

Despite becoming celebrities after their improbable rescue in 2010, the men were deeply wounded, said writer Hector Tobar

Celebration of Peru's Economic Boom Comes Late

World Bank, IMF policymakers this week call country a prize pupil of financial stability, however, plunging prices for minerals have cut annual growth dramatically

Guatemala Landslide Death Toll Tops 220; Another 350 Missing

Loosened by heavy rains, hillside collapsed onto Santa Catarina Pinula on southeastern flank of Guatemala City October 1, burying scores of homes

Report: More Than 58,000 Violent Deaths Last Year in Brazil

Annual report on public security says number of violent deaths up nearly 5 percent last year from 2013, when country suffered a then high of 55,000 such deaths

UN Launches Review of Possible Corruption

Audit will look at interaction between world body and two organizations that US prosecutors have accused of bribing a former top UN official

US to Publish Records on Chile 1976 Assassination

Orlando Letelier was killed, along with his American co-worker Ronni Moffitt, by a car bomb in the center of Washington