News / USA

Obama, Calderon Pledge More Cooperation Against Drug Violence

U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon hold a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Mar 3, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon hold a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Mar 3, 2011
Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon agreed Thursday to work more closely to combat drug violence. The two leaders tried to smooth over recent disagreements on how the war on drugs should be fought.  

President Obama praised his Mexican counterpart for what he called “extraordinary courage” in fighting Mexico's illegal drug cartels.

“Tens of thousands of Mexicans - innocent citizens and dedicated security forces - have lost their lives," said President Obama. "I have reaffirmed to President Calderon that in this cause, Mexico has a full partner with the United States.”

Mr. Obama said he would accelerate U.S. aid to train and equip Mexican forces fighting the cartels.  On Wednesday, White House officials said that $900 million will be spent on the cause this year.

Mexican officials, including President Calderon, have complained that the United States is doing too little to reduce its demand for illegal drugs, and to slow the flow of money and weapons to the cartels.

President Obama acknowledged the problem and pledged greater efforts against it, while saying he would defend the constitutional amendment that allows Americans to own guns.

“We are very mindful that the battle President Calderon is fighting inside of Mexico is not just his battle; it is also ours," said Obama. "We have to take responsibility, just as he has taken responsibility.”

Mr. Calderon applauded Mr. Obama’s efforts and pledged greater cooperation with the United States.

“I would like to thank President Obama for the clarity with which he speaks to the effects that the consumption of drugs has in his country as well as the illegal traffic of weapons and of moneys into Mexican territory," said President Calderon. "I know that together we can achieve ever greater results.”

The debate over the drug war grew more heated last month, with the murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in northern Mexico, with a gun smuggled from the United States.

Officials in Washington have criticized Mexico’s efforts to control the violence, and they are considering arming U.S. agents working there.

Mexican law does not allow foreign law enforcement agents working in the country to carry guns.  Mr. Calderon said there should not be an exception for U.S. agents.  

“The law does not allow agents of the United States or of any other country to take part in tasks involving justice enforcement in our territory," said Calderon. "As a result, they cannot carry weapons or undertake operational tasks.”

But the Mexican president said Zapata’s death should urge the neighboring countries to work together to solve the problem.

The two presidents also discussed efforts to reform U.S. immigration policy.  Mr. Obama again reassured Mr. Calderon that he is committed to comprehensive immigration reform.

The two leaders reached an agreement to resolve a longstanding dispute over trucking.  The United States has refused to allow Mexican trucks to enter the country because of concerns about whether they can meet American safety and environmental standards.  Mexico has retaliated by placing higher tariffs on many U.S. products.

Under the preliminary agreement, Mexico will gradually lift the tariffs, with the last one lifted when the first Mexican truck is approved for travel on U.S. roads.  

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid