Obama Faces A Complex Relationship With Mexico

National Public Radio, 4/16/2009

obama-calderon-iPresident Obama’s brief visit to Mexico on Thursday is aimed at broadening the U.S. relationship with its southern neighbor, but the trip is being dominated by one key issue: the drug trade and the violence surrounding it.

Calderon is expected to ask Obama to make good on promises of American aid. Calderon wants money for crime-fighting and a promise that the U.S. will do more to curb drug demand at home and the export of guns to the Mexican gangs.

Mexicans also want the American president to show respect for and confidence in their country to counter recent statements that Mexico is on the verge of becoming a “failed state.”

They want the administration to take action on immigration issues and to resolve what they say are violations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

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