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Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 12:35am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — President Obama will visit Mexico on Thursday to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto. The two will discuss issues like trade, immigration, and the drug war.
Mexico's newly elected leader is expected to discuss a change in strategy for fighting drug traffickers. The country's drug war has made headlines around the world for decades. For six years, former Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, made his trademark by busting high profile drug cartels.
But Peña Nieto is taking a new approach.
"The Mexican government is really attempting to leverage their power, to be able to point to the United States and say, this is not just a one-way issue," said Dr. Richard Piñeda, a professor at UTEP and expert on US-Mexican relations.
Peña Nieto argues part of the blame lies with the US.
"i think the Mexican government is very nervous about the number of weapons flowing into Mexico," said Dr. Piñeda.
Piñeda also argued the President of Mexico wants the US to work with his country as a partner, and insists the drug war isn't just about protecting American borders -- something many in the Borderland agreed with.
"it is a good idea for them to partner up. that way, they can share intelligence, they can combat the ongoing problem that has been happening over the years," said Omar Garcia.
On Tuesday, Peña Nieto's government arrested the father-in-law of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel and one of the country's most-wanted drug lords.
Dr. Piñeda said Mexico's new administration is trying to prove they're committed and able to fight drug traffickers.
"You're going to see, I think, an attempt on the part of the Mexican government to point to those successes, especially with the United States and say, we're doing our part, again, you need to do yours," said Dr. Piñeda .
"They're our neighboring country. So, I mean, it's like, you have to be there for your neighbor. So, you know, I mean, it would just be a positive outlook for both countries," said Amairani Luna.
UTEP's Dr. Piñeda doesn't expect US-Mexican relations to change drastically after this week's meetings between the two countries.
President Obama will arrive in Mexico City tomorrow and is expected to stay until Friday.