Mexican President Felipe Calderon meets with President Obama today amid growing pressure to allow U.S. agents to carry guns in his country — a long-standing taboo in Mexico, despite a raging drug war, says the Dallas Morning News. “We have to protect our people,” says Attorney General Eric Holder. “What tragically happened two weeks ago [ ] may require a different policy.” The Feb. 15 slaying of unarmed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata — with a weapon traced to a Dallas-area gun store — inflamed grievances and fears on both sides.
The violence in Mexico has left leaders in both nations frustrated. Mexicans are dismayed at the ongoing appetite of U.S. drug users, the ease with which cartels can obtain powerful weapons and smuggle them south, and delays in aid promised to help in the fight. Said Roberta Jacobson, the State Department's No. 2 official for Latin America: “You cannot have 15,000 people killed in one year from drug violence and not call that a tough year.” Border security, the drug war, immigration, trade policy, and other issues will be on the agenda with Obama. The summit was planned long before the attack on Zapata and a colleague, who was wounded.