On her first foreign trip without her husband, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Mexico, meeting with women leaders and students. She was received by the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhán; United States Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual; and the Undersecretary for North America of the Foreign Ministry, Julian Ventura.
While addressing the students she refrained from talking about the drug violence and cartels, relaying instead a message of hope to the youth of the country. She told students from public and private universities, “At the length of world history, often has been the improbable hero, that trip without perspective which results in the key to our progress,” a discourse many interpret as an indirect reference to the violence faced by the country.
According to an article from BBC Mundo, experts point out that the Mexican youth suffer more from the effects of the economic crises, while at the same time are often victims of the violence of the fight against drug trafficking. Jaime Enrique, a law student at the Universidad Iberomericana, introduced the first lady to students and told BBC Mundo, “The biggest challenge for the youth is moving away from drugs and the cartels which sell them.”
Some have criticized Michelle Obama for not mentioning two of the most serious binational problems faced by Mexico and the United States: immigration and drug trafficking. However, others have taken her visit as a sign of support from the White House toward Calderon’s administration at a moment in which its strategy against organized crime is perceived as a failure and he questioned by members of his own party.