During her first solo foreign visit Michelle Obama soaks up Mexican culture and addresses the growing problem of drug violence in Mexico.
While some U.S. residents are hesitant to travel to Mexico due to the recent rise in drug- and gang-related crime there, First Lady Michelle Obama has no qualms about venturing there for her first solo foreign trip.
In addition to creating some good will between the two neighboring countries, Mrs. Obama used the opportunity to speak out about the drug issue.
Following a Mexico City meeting with her Mexican counterpart, Margarita Zavala de Calderon, the First Lady said the United States need to do more to reduce the demand for illegal drugs if it wants to help reduce the violence that has wracked its southern neighbor, according to CNN.
Steps Away from Drug Problems
One positive approach is de Calderon’s “New Life Centers,” which help with prevention and education so that fewer young people will become addicted. Mrs. Obama cited those programs and called for more of the same, pointing to education and opportunity as key elements in keeping kids off drugs. A solid education, a job with a decent wage and opportunities to provide for themselves and their families are all valuable tools, according to the First Lady.
A lack of those opportunities has lead to a surge in drug trafficking and violence. According to a new government report released in April 2010, more than 22,000 people have died from drug violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on narcotics trafficking cartels in December 2006.
Illegal Drug Addiction
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