Obama Visits Mexico – Weekly News Summary: May 3rd

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

This week, President Obama met with Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto. During his visit Obama sought to recast the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship in terms of economic and not just security, cooperation. He called for an end to “old stereotypes” and a need “to recognize new realities.” In an op-ed for Fox News Latino, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza argued the time is ripe to advance bilateral relations in terms of security, migration and trade.

Years of “unprecedented closeness” and security cooperation between U.S. and Mexican intelligence agencies were said to be in jeopardy. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, TIME Magazine and The Washington Post all commented on the current Mexican government’s decision to curb American involvement in the war against violent drug cartels.

Two recently conducted surveys – one prepared by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Woodrow Wilson Center; the other by the Pew Research Center – presented interesting results regarding American attitudes towards Mexico and Mexican views towards Americans.

The Peña Nieto administration’s reformist agenda enjoyed yet another victory when a bill to reform Mexico’s tightly controlled telecommunications sector won final approval in the Mexican Congress. Despite this, however, Reuters reported on the growing tensions within the Pacto por México, and said further cooperation between the three main political parties would likely be put on hold until a vote-buying scandal is resolved. Meanwhile, The Christian Science Monitor reported on the joint bid by San Diego and Tijuana to hold the first U.S.-Mexico cross-border Olympic games in 2024.

What Mexican columnists had to say…

Education, security, immigration, and the economy were some of the topics considered by Mexican commentators in regards to the Obama visit to Mexico.

To start off, Leo Zuckerman suggested that the bilateral agreements between Mexico and the United States should include a scholarship program that can help Mexican students pursue a career in security studies in the United States. According to the commentator, this opportunity could create a generation of well trained professionals who can learn how to manage Mexico’s issues.  As violence continues to be an issue, Sergio Aguayo critiqued how U.S. gun policies have contributed to the violence in Mexico.  Jorge Fernandez Menendez approached this issue by stating that Mexico’s federal government has not only centralized communication channels but it has severely limited the participation of U.S. agents in purely operational areas.

Even though Andrew Selee sensed that security would be part of Obama and Peña Nieto’s discussion on U.S.-Mexico relations, he also discussed how economic integration and the immigration reform are important matters in the bilateral agenda. Similarly, John Bailey explained the significance of the immigration reform in the context of President Obama’s visit to Mexico.

Lastly, Luis Felipe Bravo Mena analyzed Obama’s visit to Mexico and discussed how new economic reforms can strengthen the relationship between the two countries.


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