Secretary of State wraps up Mexico visitPosted: Updated:
We're back on the border after a two day trip to cover Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit. Her visit was seen by many in Mexico as building a foundation for a more honest, cooperative working relationship between the neighboring nations.
It may seem obvious to those who live in border States that the U.S. plays a key role in the rise of powerful drug cartels but the public admission of that fact by the Federal Government is critical. In the past U.S. authorities were largely silent when it came to the piles of cash - from U.S. drug users that help finance cartels operations, corrupt authorities (on both sides of the border) and turn kingpins into some of the richest men in the world. (Chapo made the Forbes list this year).
And then there are the U.S. guns: tens of thousands of assault weapons that allow cartels to battle rivals and fend off the Mexican military and police. Guns bought by "straw purchasers" and smuggled into Mexico in a style known as "trafico hormiga." A small army of ants take the weapons into Mexico in small quantities that quickly add up to a major arsenal.
The Secretary of State said she's in favor of another ban on assault weapons in the U.S. and voted for one when she was in Congress. But she said it's a complicated issue and it's unclear if such a ban would win approval in Congress now, much less be a priority in the midst of this economic crisis.
Secretary of Clinton won over the students who lined the entrance to TEC Milenio to welcome her to the university. She smiled and stood next to eager students who snapped cell phone photos as they clutched tiny U.S. and Mexican flags. Monterrey residents feel an easy kinship with the U.S. after all many have families and businesses on both sides of the border. And Houston is home to countless families with roots in Monterrey. It was a moment for the city to shine and show off it's business savvy and academic credentials.
But it was also an opportunity for the Secretary of State to tout the benefits and challenges of cross border ties. The shared threat posed by drug traffickers who also know how to exploit their cross border ties. Secretary Clinton noted that tens of thousands of Americans also feel the cartels impact in Border States.
On this visit there was the usual talk of friendship but this time the Secretary of State went a step further to describe the relationship as "family." That acknowledgement and the honesty about "shared responsibility" was clearly welcomed news in Mexico
But beyond that it was clear from the crowds that turned out to catch a glimpse of the secretary of State, many in Mexico are eager to usher in what the CEO of CEMEX Lorenzo Zambrano described as "the dawn of a new era" in U.S. - Mexico relations when he introduced the Secretary of State in Monterrey.
Now, we're back on the border working on a story about the Deputy U.S. Marshall found murdered in Juarez. He was shot execution style. There was warrant for his arrest. Why was this 18 year veteran of the U.S. Marshall's Service and former police officer in Mexico? We'll have more later on the air later as we try to unravel this mystery.