Obama and Mexico


senatorbarackobamaaIn the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 2001, I got a lot of sympathetic reactions from Mexicans in Tijuana. That concern turned into confusion as the U.S. foreign policy evolved in an arguably unilateral fashion. Many Mexicans I talked to were perplexed that the U.S. public would re-elect president George W. Bush in 2004. Those same Mexicans, as may be the case with other global residents, are now hopeful the U.S. is heading back on track.

In the spirit of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, here are some links to stories that explore Obama’s relationship with Mexico:

Obama met with Mexico’s president Felipe Calderon Jan. 12 – his first meeting with a foreign leader since the election. You can read more about that visit in this The Dallas Morning News article.

In an opinion piece  published in The Dallas Morning News, Obama acknowledges that 6.5 million Americans live in border communities and that “too often we neglect the unique needs of these communities, which are integrated with their cities across the border.”  He calls for greater cross-border partnerships while also noting he will “seek enforceable labor and environmental standards” as amendments to the free trade agreement, NAFTA.

Jeremy Schwartz, of Cox News Service, wrote in 2008 about how Obama’s candidacy serves as a subject of reflection on racial matters in Mexico, where the Afro-Mexican community is largely ignored. You can read the article here.

CBS quoted Obama when he visited Brownsville during a campaign stop, where he bought a torta from a taquito stand and mused on his first encounter with the border: “This is the first time I’ve been this close, here in Texas. I’ve been in Mexico when I was in college and going to school in Southern California. I can’t entirely talk about it.”

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