April 16, 2009
Posted: 1453 GMT


Hello readers and viewers,

Today, we're heading south to Mexico, where President Barack Obama will soon land on his first official visit to Latin America as commander-in-chief.

I'll be speaking to CNN en Espanol's Juan Carlos Lopez, who conducted a one-on-one with Mister Obama in Washington. The president spoke a few words in Spanish.

This is an important trip for Barack Obama: there is the drug war violence on the border and some frayed relations with Latin America. Will this charm mission work as well as his European tour a few weeks ago? We're live in Mexico for the latest.

We'll also be running Karl Penhaul's second exclusive story from the dangerous Juarez drug war front lines. This piece airs first at the I-desk so make sure to tune in.

Also today, we'll be covering the homecoming of the Maersk Alabama crew whose cargo ship was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

And we'll be going live to Jerusalem for analysis on American special envoy George Mitchell's trip to the region.

Plus what country considers economic growth of more than 6% a bad thing? Tune in to the International Desk for the answer!

See you on TV,


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Tarek   April 16th, 2009 3:18 pm ET

Hi Hala with the rest of Idesk team. How are you all.

as they say in the past make friends not enemies and make love not war. I think Mr. Barack Obama is trying to spread peace all round the world and turning enemies into friends and this is very hard work but he will succeed eventually. May GOD help to achieve his goals towards this world.

One more thing about me, please do not mind my low quality English writing, this is the best i can do in English language.

Best regards to you all.

Luis   April 16th, 2009 4:28 pm ET

Guadalajara, Mexico

I am not sure if President Obama and the US are really commited to help Mexico fight and win the war against the drug cartels.
Both countries have been exchanging arguments about who is not doing enough to end up this war and fight the cartels.

Mexico Arguments:
1. If there was no a US-demmand, there would not be an offer at all.
2. The US is puting the wheapons and Mexico the dead people.
3. Drugs can't be "magicaly beamed" from the Mexican border to the streets from Chicago, New York or Seattle. If there are drugs in the big american cities, there has to be drug dealeres and corruption within US authorities to get them to the streets in the first place.
4. As long as the US doesn't stop the wheapon smuggling into Mexico, the cartels will become more powerfull.
5. Mexico has changed from a "bridge" role to a drug consumer country. So the cartels are now also fighting for the Mexican market.

US Arguments:
1. Corruption in Mexican authorities has triggered this terrible drug war.
2. The last Mexican administrations have not done enough against the cartels and the drugs.
3. Mexican borders are not secure enough to prevent drugs, persons, organs and wheapons trafficking.
4. We have supported in the past Mexico against the cartels and all the financial help and equipment end up in hands of the cartels. We don't know anymore who to trust.

My personal opinion is that both governments have valid arguments. These arguments and this disscusion have been going on for years.
We should stop blaming each other and start working on a pragmatic solution. While we talk, people keep dying every day at the border, -mainly Mexicans, – and children in the US keep triyng for the first time heroine, cocaine and meta-anphetamies in elementary schools in Ohio, Texas and Washington.

The only reason why this is now on the spotlight and in CNN is because President Calderon was brave enough to start cleansing the house. This triggered a violent reaction from the cartels.

The media and TV-networks are not helping to solve the problem at all by exagerating, missinforming and praising the violence just to get ratings. I see a lot of desinformation about what is really happening in Mexico. Or by adding Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, – one of the drug lords,- to the Forbes Millionar list. This doesn't help at all.

Let's get together and try to find a solution to a common problem.
This is not a US problem, this is not a Mexican problem either.
It is a common problem and needs a common solution.

Mary   April 16th, 2009 5:10 pm ET

What's up with Hala?...she seems confused with her position with the new idesk format, maybe she can sit and be more comfortable.

Regards, Mary


ossai oge   April 16th, 2009 5:35 pm ET

Hi hola everyone i know that it is possible for the drug war to stop because president obama is involved



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