U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Mexico and Costa Rica this week, starting with a flight Thursday to Mexico City, where he will meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December of last year. The two leaders may put most emphasis on trade and bilateral cooperation, but they also are likely to review efforts to defeat drug smuggling organizations based in Mexico.
The presidential visit to Mexico provides leaders from both countries an opportunity to emphasize their commitments to trade, economic development and bilateral cooperation. But George Grayson, who teaches at the College of William and Mary and is the author of numerous books about Mexico, said each man has separate priorities.
“The goal is to get the United States to shift its emphasis from security to social and economic matters. The United States is quite anxious to find out the blueprint for Mexico’s new policy toward organized crime,” Grayson said.
President Nieto took office in December amid a continuing drug war that so far has claimed around 75,000 lives. His predecessor, President Felipe Calderon, shortly after taking office in 2006, used the military to attack organized crime groups, known as cartels in Mexico. He also forged an agreement with the United States that led to close cooperation in the drug war.
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