26 March 2009

Secretary of State Clinton in Mexico to Bolster Relations

Boy holds up globe outside of an SOS Children's Village in Mexico
A boy holds up a globe at an SOS Children's Village in Mexico

03/26/09 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mexico to discuss with the Mexican government ways to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico relationship. High on the agenda is drug-related violence in Mexico. The Obama administration has offered to help Mexican forces stop the bloodshed. Some 7,000 Mexicans have been killed since early 2008 as drug cartels battle one another and the Mexican military. Texas, Arizona, and other U.S. border states are concerned about the violence spilling onto American soil.

During her trip, Clinton broke from previous administrations by publicly acknowledging U.S. responsibility for Mexico's drug trade. Violence south of the border, she said, was due in part to ineffective policies to reduce the U.S. demand for drugs, stop south-north drug shipments at the U.S. border, and stem the flow of guns to Mexico. American guns have been used in 90 percent of Mexico's narcotics-related murders, say both U.S. and Mexican authorities.

President Obama is sending to the border hundreds of extra agents, more money, and more technology to stop weapons and drug money from pouring into Mexico. Secretary Clinton also promised to work on expediting delivery of equipment included in a $1.4 billion package of anti-drug assistance to Mexico and Central America.

U.S.-Mexican Ties Go Beyond the Drug Problem

Clinton told reporters she also wanted her trip to reflect the broad range of issues on which the U.S. and Mexico routinely cooperate, including trade, education, and the environment. The economic relationship is especially important in light of the global downturn.

Despite Mexico's economic growth over the last decade, marked income inequality is a significant problem. Estimates suggest that almost 25 million children under age seventeen live in poverty. Many are forced to live on the streets. In the capital, Mexico City, 90 percent of street children are estimated to have suffered from sexual abuse. A high incidence of commercial child sexual exploitation and abuse has been reported in the border areas.

SOS Children's Villages Raises Orphaned Children in Mexico

Children reading at the SOS Children's Village Tijuana in Mexico
Children reading at the SOS Children's Village Tijuana in Mexico

Fortunately, SOS Children's Villages, the world's largest charity devoted to providing loving homes to orphaned and abandoned children, is there to help. SOS operates eight Children's Villages in Mexico, including one in Tijuana, near the U.S. border. SOS provides loving mothers, warm homes, and supportive communities for children whose life prospects would otherwise be very bleak. In Mexico, SOS youth facilities and vocational training centers help older children transition into independence. Mexico's SOS school and social centers also provide services to local families.

If you would like to help a Mexican boy or girl secure a warm home and a bright future, consider sponsoring a child.