Obama: Mexico Is No Colombia

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WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama yesterday dismissed the comparison Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made between Mexico and Colombia. Clinton generated controversy this week when she compared Mexico to Colombia 20 years ago, and compared cartels to an insurgency movement. In an exclusive interview with Impremedia, Obama clarified the country's position on Mexico, violence across the border and his vision of our southern neighbor. He met with La Opinión reporter Antonieta Cádiz in the newly decorated Oval Office.

"I don't think she was trying to equate what was happening in Mexico with what occurred in Colombia 20 years ago, or the type of classic insurgency politics we are talking about," said Obama. "She was pointing out that the tactics of these cartels are becoming highly violent. They are well armed, well
funded. I believe that President Calderon has shown strong courage and his government has worked hard to defeat them."

Obama said he will continue to support Mexico's efforts the fight drug trafficking. "The kind of violence that is happening, murder, systemic massacres and brutality of these cartels, we simply cannot accept."

"Mexico is a great, vibrant democracy with a growing economy, and as a result cannot be compared to what happened in Colombia 20 years ago. But the brutality and violence of the cartels, I think it's as bad as anything we've seen, and therefore we have to take it very seriously," he said.