U.S. secretary of state arrives in Mexico for visit
MEXICO, March 25 (Xinhua)– U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Mexico City on Wednesday for a two-day visit which focus on trading, violence at the border with the United States.
Clinton will meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in the presidential house and speak at a press conference with his Mexican counterpart Patricia Espinosa on Wednesday afternoon.
Arriba Hillary Clinton a México
Miércoles 25 de Marzo, 2009 Hora de creación: 12:33 Ultima modificación: 12:33
La secretaria de Estado de la Unión Americana, Hillary Clinton. Foto: AP
La secretaria de Estado de la Unión Americana, Hillary Clinton, llegó a México poco antes del mediodía para efectuar una visita oficial que durará poco más de 36 horas.La funcionaria arribó al hangar presidencial en un avión oficial del gobierno estadunidense acompañada por su comitiva y reporteros que cubren su gira a este país.Luego de que la aeronave en que viajaba se detuvo frente a la alfombra roja dispuesta en honor a su investidura subió una comitiva integrada por la encargada de negocios de la Embajada de Estados Unidos, Leslie Bassett, y el embajador de México en Estados Unidos, Arturo Sarukhan.En tierra la esperaba el director general de Protocolo de la cancillería, Francisco del Río, quien le dio la bienvenida y la invitó a pasar al hangar a lo largo de la alfombra roja que estaba flanqueda por personal de la Secretaría de Marina Armada de México.La secretaria de Estado, quien viste traje sastre de color oscuro, intercambió con Del Río algunas palabras y se introdujo a la sala de espera del hangar, de donde fue conducida a un vehículo y escoltada por al menos cinco unidades más con personal tanto del servicio secreto como del Estado Mayor Presidencial.Se prevé que Clinton se reúna con el presidente Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, con la secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Patricia Espinosa, y con otros funcionarios del gobierno mexicano.
Clinton: U.S. also to blame for Mexican drug violence
MEXICO CITY — The United States is at least as responsible as Mexico for the violent drug wars that are roiling its southern neighbor because of an insatiable U.S. market for narcotics, the failure to stop weapons smuggling southward and a three-decade “war” on drugs that “has not worked,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians,” Clinton said.
“How could anyone conclude any differently? . . . I feel very strongly we have co-responsibility,” she said.
Clinton’s blunt remarks as she flew to Mexico were the clearest by any senior U.S. official in recent memory that American habits and government policies have stoked the drug trade and a spreading epidemic of criminal violence in northern Mexico.
They are likely to be well received by top officials in the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, which is battling rising lawlessness and has called on the Obama administration to do more to stop the flow of guns and cash from the United States into Mexico.
Clinton is meeting with Calderon and his top aides, including security and law enforcement chiefs, during a two-day trip that will be dominated by the cartel-related killings that have left more than 7,000 Mexicans dead since January 2008.
The secretary of state acknowledged that the violence is “horrific,” even as she stressed that hers is not a single-issue visit. Also on the agenda are trade disputes, clean energy and climate change, and the global economic recession.
Clinton’s remarks continue the more humble tone toward the rest of the world that President Barack Obama has adopted, in contrast with the Bush administration, which often was seen as hectoring friends and adversaries alike.
Stepping beyond strictly foreign-policy issues, the secretary of state hinted at major changes to come in the Obama administration’s domestic drug-control strategy, with more emphasis on reducing demand and on treatment programs for drug abusers.
“It’s not working,” she said of the current approach.
“We have certainly been pursuing these strategies for . . . a long time. I remember Mrs. Reagan’s ‘just say no,’ ” Clinton said, referring to former first lady Nancy Reagan’s exhortation to young people to refuse drugs. “It’s been very difficult.”
The White House announced Tuesday that it was dispatching of hundreds of additional federal agents to the U.S.-Mexican border to help border states deal with the spillover effects of the violence, as well as taking new steps to interdict drugs coming north and cash and weapons flowing south.
Congress has approved $700 million in assistance to help Mexico fight drug traffickers and build more effective security forces. However, lawmakers cut back the first installment of aid under the Merida Initiative from $450 million to $300 million. Some members of Congress and Mexican officials complain that promised equipment to fight the cartels is taking too long to arrive.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent Democrat from Connecticut who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Wednesday that the administration’s new plan was “a significant first step forward. But I don’t think it is enough.”