Mexican president visit US as unrest continues at home

Enrique Pena Nieto will meet with Barack Obama to discuss cooperation on immigration and commerce and commercial agreements ahead of the North American Leader’s summit.

Mexican president visit US as unrest continues at home

World Bulletin/News Desk

President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday left Mexico for his first official visit to Washington as head of state.

Pena Nieto will meet President Barack Obama at the White House where the two plan to discuss cooperation on immigration and commerce, and he is expected to endorse Obama’s decision to protect 5 million undocumented immigrants in the US, largely coming from Mexico.

The two presidents will also review commercial agreements ahead of the North American Leader’s summit that will be held next month in Canada.

But Pena Nieto has left unrest in Mexico that is still asking for justice and an end to widespread corruption and impunity.

Since the disappearance of the 43 students in the state of Guerrero on Sep. 26, Mexicans have protested and marched almost every day in several cities, demanding an independent investigation and Pena Nieto’s resignation.

Protesters in the United States plan to gather in front of the White House on Tuesday while Pena Nieto meets with Obama.

Human Rights Watch on Monday published a letter addressed to Obama in which it pressed him to discuss with Pena Nieto “Mexico’s failure to investigate and prosecute egregious abuses by Mexican security forces.”

Authorities and armed forces have been largely implicated in two atrocious crimes in Mexico in 2014 – the murder of 22 suspected gang members by soldiers in Tlatlaya in June, and the disappearance of the 43 students in Iguala.

The rights organization said the U.S. has supplied more than $2 billion since 2007 to Mexico through the Merida Initiative – a partnership between the U.S. and Mexico to fight organized crime – without enforcing the respect of the human rights requirements included in the program.

“Fifteen percent of that assistance is supposed to be conditioned on Mexico’s meeting a set of basic human rights requirements, which include ensuring that abuses by security forces are being investigated and prosecuted,” wrote Jose Miguel Vivanco, the Americas Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.

The end of 2014 has been difficult for the Mexican president who has in recent months faced a conflict of interest scandal that involved his wife’s ownership of a $7 million mansion in the name of a Pena Nieto’s administration contractor and the peso has lost more than 11 percent of its value against the dollar.  

In an speech to the nation Sunday, Pena Nieto tried to address concerns of Mexicans. “This new year will demand us to be united, generous and to work in team,” he said. “It’s time to recover motivation, confidence and hope," he said in the address that was boradcast on television and the Internet.


Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2015, 11:04
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