Tag Archives: Carlos Pascual

Michelle Obama travels to Mexico

Michelle Obama will fly to Mexico City for meetings with First Lady Margarita Zavala, primarily to discuss social programs. President and Mrs. Calderón will host a private dinner at Los Pinos for Mrs. Obama; the other guests will be Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, his wife, and U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual. (Universal 4/9)

Calderón emphasizes joint responsibility after Juárez killings

Speaking in Juárez three days after the killings of the U.S. consular staff and families, President Calderón said: “It is indispensable, I insist, that the brunt of the battle against organized crime be fully assumed as a shared responsibility between the United States and Mexico. It is a battle that we need to fight on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, and to win as allies, each in its own territory, each in its own sphere of competence, but with close collaboration in terms of information, intelligence, and public policies. Both nations must continue to collaborate in order to defeat these organizations and put a stop to the trafficking in drugs, arms, illegal money, and to make our youth safe.”  The President’s comments were seen, in part, as a reaction to reports that special teams from seven U.S. agencies were in Mexico to hunt down and capture the killers. U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual later clarified that U.S. agencies would only be working in a support role from the U.S. side of the border. (Universal 3/16, Excelsior 3/17)

New strategy to curb violence in Juárez

After a meeting of the security cabinet in Ciudad Juárez (including the participation of U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual), Security Secretary Genaro García Luna announced that a force of 2,000 Federal Police (PF) would join the approximately 7,800 military and federal police already in the state of Chihuahua, in what was characterized as a change of strategy. The PF will gradually replace the army in Juárez from now through March; the troops will redeploy to rural areas of the state. The army will also make use of drones to combat crime in the city, technology made possible as part of the Mérida Initiative. According to José Antonio Ortega, the head of a civic organization in Juárez, the city’s 2009 homicide rate of 191 per 100,000 residents ranked it as the most violent city in the world. Garcia Luna disputed the ranking, but acknowledged that Juárez was the most dangerous city in Mexico. (Reforma 1/11, Excelsior 1/14)

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)