Today, President Barack Obama will welcome Mexican President Felipe Calderon to the White House. As Senior Latin American Policy Analyst, Ray Walser, aptly described in his latest WebMemo, the atmosphere will be tense given the February 15 murder of U.S. immigration agent Jaime Zapata and recent Wikileaks revelations from the U.S. embassy in Mexico City questioning the coordination and effectiveness of Mexico’s security team dealing escalating violence and bloodshed because of narco-violence.
And yet, there are so many critical issues at stake of mutual concern for both countries beyond the headline grabbing security concerns. As our third largest trading partner while sharing a 2,000 mile plus border, trade, border management, environmental and energy issues are all of vital importance to healthy US-Mexico relations.
We recently had an opportunity to interview Rep. Francisco Canseco (R-TX) representing the 23rd congressional district in Texas, that includes close to 750 miles of the US-Mexico border, to ask him about today’s White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Rep. Francisco Canseco agreed with us in our assessment of the importance of a stable and secure US-Mexico border and the need to cooperate with Mexico in its fight against the drug cartels and criminal elements. In addition, Rep. Canseco spoke about the need to support our ally and friend during this critical juncture in Mexico history. The complete interview can be here:
Indeed, today’s latest face-to-face meeting between Presidents Obama and Calderon is an important opportunity to underscore our important relationship with our neighbor country to the south. Beyond economic and political concerns on both sides of the border, our relationship with Mexico stretches back centuries. In these trying times for Mexico, it is important that President Obama does not squander this opportunity with President Calderon to elevate the importance of our country’s commitment to supporting a stable, secure and democratic Mexico.
Israel Ortega is the Editor of Heritage Libertad, the Spanish language page of The Heritage Foundation.