Dear Global Exchange Supporter,
This week Barack Obama will travel to Mexico. His trip there comes amidst a month of travels in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
In "President Obama Visits Mexico," Global Exchange Mexico Director, Ted Lewis, takes an extensive look at some of the deeply flawed assumptions guiding current U.S. policy toward Mexico and how they shape and limit Obama's options.
- The first error is the belief that Felipe Calderón is a legitimate counterpart capable of successfully pursuing a military style "war" on drug trafficking.
- The second myth is the notion that relying on the Mexican Army to lead the fight against the cartels is a good or practical idea.
- The third illusion is that broad, genuine immigration reforms can be both won and sustained in the U.S. while Mexico's capacity to produce employment in agricultural and other key productive sectors continues to atrophy.
Take action today to let Obama know you support genuine reevaluation of NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico policy.
Read Ted Lewis's extended analysis
, including links to excellent articles, reports, and recent news items.
Organize a forum in your community
and inform Global Exchange (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the date, time, and place.
Let the Obama Administration know that you support genuine reevaluation of NAFTA with the aim of strengthening workers and human rights in North America and that this is linked to the passage of humane immigration policies that don't trade immediate relief for the undocumented with a more repressive and militarized future.
President Barack Obama
(202) 456-1111 / (202) 456-6213
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solís
Attorney General Eric Holder
"President Obama Visits Mexico"
By Ted Lewis
Global Exchange Mexico Director
Compared to the malign neglect of Mexico during the Bush years, Clinton's trip and a series of cabinet level visits prior to Obama's trip already signals deeper U.S. diplomacy and engagement with Mexico. But promises of more military assistance-above and beyond what was already in the pipeline under Bush's Plan Mexico ("Merida Initiative")-also suggest that Obama will not tamper with the essence of the security policies he has inherited. Nor will he really tamper with the 15-year-old NAFTA treaty that was originally developed and signed by George H.W. Bush and later embraced by his opponent and successor, Bill Clinton. Obama's team may bring refreshing changes in style, but they are not harbingers of the transformational changes needed to heal a sick bi-national relationship.
For example, during her late March trip to Mexico, Secretary Clinton declared that the "insatiable" appetite of American drug consumers drives the extraordinary profits and the vicious lethal capacity of the narco-business. She also conceded that high caliber guns legally purchased in the U.S. are killing people in Mexico. She admitted the obvious, but don't hold your breath waiting for her or anyone else in the Obama administration to call for a thorough reconsideration of our failing drug control policies that looks beyond prohibition to harm reduction, decriminalization of users, and treatment on demand as frontline strategies for drying up illegal demand. Many deeply flawed assumptions guide current U.S. policy toward Mexico. Three bad ideas that could prove especially damaging for the Obama administration are these:
- Thinking that Felipe Calderón is a legitimate counterpart capable of successfully pursuing a military style "war" on drug trafficking.
- The notion that relying on the Mexican Army to the lead the fight against the cartels is a good or practical idea.
- That humane and effective immigration reforms can be both won and sustained in the U.S. while Mexico's capacity to produce employment in agricultural and other key productive sectors continues to atrophy.
Read more of Ted Lewis's analysis here.
Thank you, as always, on your work on behalf of peace & justice.