Obama in Mexico: Time to Kill 'Old Stereotypes'

President addresses young audience in Mexico City

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 3, 2013 11:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Calling for an end to "old stereotypes," President Obama today portrayed Mexico as an emerging nation that is remaking itself and said the US-Mexico relationship should be defined by shared prosperity, not by threats that both countries face. "It's time to recognize new realities," he declared. In a speech to a predominantly student audience in Mexico City, Obama conceded that the root of much violence in Mexico is the demand for drugs in the United States, and acknowledged that most guns used to commit crime in this country come from the US. But he said an improving economy is changing Mexico and improving its middle class.

Obama bemoaned the skewed views that still exist on both sides of the border. "Some Americans only see the Mexico depicted in sensational headlines of violence and border crossings. Some Mexicans may think America disrespects Mexico, that we seek to impose ourselves on Mexican sovereignty.” But, he said, “I have come to Mexico because it is time to put old mindsets aside." Obama spoke on the second day of his Mexico City visit, before traveling to Costa Rica. There, he planned to deliver a blunter message to Central American leaders struggling with weak economies and drug violence.

President Obama waves after speaking at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City Friday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama waves after delivering a speech at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City Friday.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
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