Clinton Visits Mexico For Meeting With Calderón To Discuss Drug War
January 25, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Mexico Monday for trip to reinforce ties and voice support for the country’s ongoing drug war.
Clinton called Mexican President Felipe Calderón “courageous” for his actions against cross-border criminal networks and vowed continued U.S. support through equipment and training for Mexican law enforcement as well as targeting the flow of arms and money into Mexico from the U.S.
“This is very hard, and what President Calderon has done is absolutely necessary,” Clinton said after meeting with Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa in the colonial-era mining city of Guanajuato, according to The Los Angeles Times. “There is no alternative.”
More than 34,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since Calderón began his offensive against the drug cartels in 2006. More than 15,000 people were killed in 2010 alone.
“Drug-traffickers are not going to give up without a terrible fight, and when they do barbaric things like behead people, it is meant to intimidate,” Clinton said, according to The New York Times. “It is meant to have the public say just leave them alone, but a president cannot do that.”
Clinton acknowledged the large demand in the U.S. for illegal drugs as well as the flow of U.S. weapons to Mexico, while two dozen protesters chanted “No more guns!” as Clinton arrived for her talks.
Besides the drug war, the State Department said the meetings focused on a range of issues, from immigration to economic strategy and the environment. Along with meeting Espinosa in Guanajuato, Clinton also spoke with Calderón in Mexico City.
Clinton’s one day visit to Mexico was her second to the country in less than a year and comes on the heels of the release of State Department cables by WikiLeaks that revealed U.S. doubts about Mexican intelligence gathering.
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