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On Friday, May 3rd, President Obama gave a speech in the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. Speaking to a small crowd of mostly Mexican students, Obama said that the time has come for the U.S. public to look beyond the “sensational headlines” of violence associated with the drug trade and for the United States and Mexico to begin working together on “mutual interests and [with] mutual respect.”
Arturo Ramirez has crossed the border as an undocumented migrant every few years to work in the Florida orange groves. He says that stricter border enforcement implemented after September 11 made entering the United States far more dangerous and costly. But despite the increased risks, Ramirez headed for the United States.
Each year, Francisco Morelos leaves the small community in Mexico’s Querétaro state, and enters the United States to seek work. Many like him dream of starting their own business and do so by laboring in the United States as undocumented workers and sending their earnings back home.
Human rights organizations and solidarity activists warn that the Tzeltales of San Marcos Avilés are at risk of a displacement equivalent to that of 2010.
At the very least, we can hope that Obama, in his second term, will show greater tolerance for the debate on drug-policy alternatives that has blossomed across Latin America.
NACLA's presents its Fall 2012 Radio Podcast. Featuring content on the Paraguayan coup, the Mexican elections, and speeches from NACLA's 45th Anniversary Gala by Noam Chomsky, Javier Sicilia, and Mexican-American cartoonist Feggo. You can now also subscribe to NACLA Radio.