Tag Archives: Obama

Calderón supports U.S. decision to send National Guard to border

While in Canada, President Calderón said he supported President Obama’s decision to send 1,200 National Guard troops to reinforce the border. Calderón said: “We hope that the presence of the National Guard will be in terms that we agreed to with President Obama. [The U.S.] agreed to do their part to enforce the law on the American side, and certainly not to use the National Guard for immigration enforcement. … Thus, this would seem to be a sign of carrying out the commitment of the U.S. government to stop the illegal flow of arms to Mexico, to reduce the money laundering of funds to Mexico, and to stop the impunity with which some of the most dangerous criminals act and assault the Mexican side. … The National Guard will aid our common objective to have a more secure border.” (Presidencia 5/27)

… and on immigration reform

Calderón also called for common effort on immigration during the same speech: “For us migration is not just your problem. We see it as our problem as well.  My government does not favor the breaking of rules. I fully respect the right of any country to enact and enforce its own laws. But what we need today is to fix a broken system.  We favor the establishment of laws that work, and work well for us all.  So the time has come for the United States and Mexico to work together on this issue. The time has come to reduce the causes of migration, and to turn this phenomenon into one of legal, ordered and secure flows of workers and visitors.  I want to recognize the hard work and leadership of many in the Senate and the House, and of President Obama, who are determined to find responsible and objective answers to this issue. I am convinced that a comprehensive immigration reform is also crucial to securing our common border.

“However, I strongly disagree with the recently adopted law in Arizona. It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree, but also introduces a terrible idea, using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement.  And that is why I agree with President Obama who said the new law ‘carries a great amount of risk when core values that we all care about are breached.’” (Presidencia 5/20)

Calderón in Washington

Los Pinos announced Friday that President Calderón will participate in Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington today and tomorrow. The last minute announcement fed speculation that Calderón will use the trip to advance the mutual security agenda before his state visit to D.C. next month. (Presidencia 4/9, Universal 4/10)

Expectations controlled for North American Summit

The meeting of North American heads of state took place in Guadalajara with the Mexican government emphasizing the cordial atmosphere and statements of support from President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Mexico’s war against drug traffickers, while expectations for progress on specific issues of importance to Mexico were downplayed.  Canada will not relax its recent requirement for visas for Mexican tourists. With respect to the U.S.-Mexico agenda, President Obama made positive statements about resolving the U.S. ban on Mexican trucks and human rights certification for the Mexican military under the Mérida Initiative, but no concrete agreements were announced.  For reasons of protocol, newly-confirmed U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual was not part of the U.S. delegation. (Presidencia 8/9, Universal 8/9)

Editorial reaction to Obama visit

Mexican editorial reaction to the Obama visit to Mexico, and the interacction between the two presidents, was overwhelmingly positive on the symbolism of the meeting, if somewhat skeptical on the substance.  A sampling:

Jorge Fernández Menéndez: “The Mexico-U.S. relationship has suffered so many vicissitudes, especially in the last eight years, that yesterday’s visit was perceived, beyond the formal agreements, as a breath of fresh air. … We insist on one point: form is foundation, as don Jesús Reyes Heroles used to say, and the importance of yesterday’s visit is the manner in which President Obama approached his meeting with Felipe Calderón and the reciprocity of the latter with his guest.” (Excelsior 4/17)


Leo Zuckermann “The visit of Barack Obama to México was noteworthy for the positive signal, the good speech, and one preoccupying difference. … The sole fact that the President of the United States decided to come to Mexico as his first destination in Latin America is a good message. It denotes that he will give priority to the bilateral relationship with his southern neighbor. … [Second] it was possible that Obama would eclipse President Calderón, that the Mexican would seem diminished in the presence of the charismatic U.S. leader. As a result, it was important that the welcome message of Calderón be careful with every phrase. We have to recognize that it came off very well. But in the press conference, I noted a subtle difference [between the two men] that could become preoccupying. … Obama talked of the importance of international trade in the current economic crisis. He said it was not the time to take protectionist positions. However, he also affirmed that the labor and environmental clauses [of the North American Free Trade Agreement] should be revised to make them compatible with today’s challenges. It was then Calderón who subtly expressed the view that, however important the labor and environmental issues were, now was not the time to start negotiations that could put at risk the achievements that the parties to NAFTA have achieved.” (Excelsior 4/17)


Jesús Silva-Herzog Márquez: “To fascinate is to enchant. The man who visited us is an enchanter. …. Political will in Mexico has been discredited as impotent, as a sterile expression of impractical caprice. Barack Obama has restored the space for political will as the spark for effective action, if it is approached with intelligence and prudence. …. The enchanter appears, however, to be trapped by his own dexterity. He enjoys giving good speeches, he knows what to say to each person, he seeks applause – and he receives it. The courage to take on an open and risky battle is still to be demonstrated. The wooing of everyone cannot go one indefinitely. If with his combinatory art, he wants to add efficacy to the spell, he will have to choose his battles and win them. He came to Mexico to say to the people that he wanted to listen.  He did not commit to anything, and even so the entire country was left enchanted by him.” (Reforma 4/20)


Templo Mayor: “For all the efforts made by the governments of Felipe Calderón and Barack Obama to “de-narcotize” the bilateral agenda during the visit of the U.S. leader to Mexico, they didn’t achieve their goal. The stubborn reality was that practically all the themes touched on yesterday had to do with organized crime and its negative effects on both sides of the border. During the joint press conference, even though they tried to speak about migration, the economy and free trade, they always wound up returning to violence, insecurity, and the constant defiance of the narcos as recurrent themes.” (Reforma 4/17)

Guns without Borders

Flyp: "Guns Without Borders"

Flyp: "Guns Without Borders"

The issue of controlling the flow of guns across the U.S.-Mexico border is sure to be front and center during this week’s meetings between Barack Obama and Felipe Calderón. One of the best, and most compelling, stories on this subject continues to be “Guns Without Borders”  published by Flyp Media last summer.

Mexico to make arms trafficking central focus of Obama—Calderón meeting

El Universal reports that the Government will try to make reducing the flow of arms across the U.S.-Mexico border the central focus of this week’s meeting between Presidents Obama and Calderón. Mexico will also push the issue in the U.N. Security Council, where it holds the rotating chairmanship this month. On Face the Nation, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan noted that 90% of the arms seized in Mexico came from the U.S. “The key issue right now is how can the United States help to shut down those guns and shut down that bulk cash that is providing the drug syndicates in Mexico with the wherewithal to corrupt, bribe, to kill,” Sarukhan said. Last week, Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said that the 52,000 arms seized by the Government in the last two years were more than five times the number seized from FARC guerrillas in Colombia last year. (Universal 4/12, CBS News 4/12)