Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Obama’s Latin Spring

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 1, 2011

by Roque Planas and Carin Zissis for Americas Society / Council of the Americas, February 28th, 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama has never traveled to South America before, but the month of March will mark an uptick in Latin America-related meetings for him. On March 3, he hosts Mexican President Felipe Calderón at the White House. Then, from March 19 through 23, Obama heads to Brasilia to kick off a five-day trip that will also take him to Rio, Santiago, and San Salvador. AS/COA Online looks at the issues likely to be discussed when Obama meets with the presidents of Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador.

Mexico

Calderón and Obama’s fifth bilateral meeting on March 3 comes within three weeks after the murder of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. Since gunmen ambushed a diplomatic vehicle, killing ICE Agent Jaime Zapata and injuring his colleague Victor Avila, both countries arrested a number of individuals linked to transnational crime. On February 23, Calderón and Obama spoke regarding Mexico’s arrest of six members linked to the Zetas gang and to Zapata’s death. On the same day, U.S. authorities arrested over 450 individuals suspected of having ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations. (continue reading… )

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