President-elect Barack Obama today meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderon as Mexico’s drug violence escalates and spills into the United States, reports the Associated Press. Mexico’s drug war has increasingly defined the relationship between he two countries. U.S-Mexico ties remain strong, but immigration and trade concerns loom along with security matters.
Drug-related homicides doubled in Mexico last year, led by rising murder totals in cities across the border from the U.S. The Justice Department calls Mexican cartels the biggest organized crime threat to the U.S. Calderon, whom U.S. officials praise for deploying troops to fight cartels and capturing drug kingpins has won a multimillion-dollar anti-drug aid package from Washington. Obama supports that plan, known as the Merida Initiative, and promises to take up another Calderon cause: reducing gun smuggling from the U.S. to Mexico.