Skip to comments.Anti-Bush protests in Mexico City (So, what's new?).
Posted on 03/14/2007 1:39:44 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu
Hundreds of demonstrators have rioted outside the US embassy in Mexico City, in the latest protest against President George W Bush's tour of Latin America.
Protesters burned US flags and threw stones at police guarding the building.
Tear gas was used to disperse the crowds. Several people were injured, including a number of police officers.
The violence came hours after Mr Bush pledged to reform controversial immigration laws, during two-day talks with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Mr Bush made the announcement on Tuesday at the start of talks with Mr Calderon. The two leaders are also expected to tackle the issue of drug trafficking.
There have been protests at each stage of Mr Bush's trip, and verbal attacks on him by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who is on his own tour of the region.
The US president has visited Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Guatemala. Mexico is the final stop on his seven-day tour of the region.
The leaders' summit is being held in the eastern city of Merida. Correspondents say that without a president nearby, the rioters in Mexico City turned their anger against the US embassy.
Reports say hundreds of people were involved - most were protesting against the war in Iraq rather than President Bush's policies on Latin America.
There have been some small-scale protests in Merida.
Earlier, President Bush promised to work hard to achieve a more sensitive and "comprehensive" immigration policy involving Mexicans.
The US is planning to construct hundreds of kilometres of fencing along the border to try to prevent the flow of illegal immigration from Mexico - something Mr Calderon has strongly criticised.
Mr Calderon repeated his criticisms of the plans on Tuesday, saying that migration could not be stopped by building a fence.
President Bush is unlikely to offer more concessions other than his already stated desire for a guest-worker programme for Mexicans living illegally in the US.
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy in Merida says that after a week travelling through five countries Mr Bush's visit is being judged to be more of a symbolic success than one involving new policies or additional aid.
But with his agenda crowded by the events in the Middle East, the president will probably be satisfied with that, our correspondent says.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has used a parallel trip to speak out against what he calls the interference of the "American empire".
Mr Chavez' last stop was Haiti where he signed a deal granting the island 14,000 barrels of crude a day as a beneficiary of Venezuela's PetroCaribe initiative, which offers regional governments discounted oil supplies.
In a joint press conference, Haitian President Rene Preval also said his country had signed a three-way deal with close allies Venezuela and Cuba on health care, energy and oil.
Mr Chavez began his tour in Argentina last week, where he was the main speaker at a huge anti-Bush rally, and has also visited Bolivia and Nicaragua and Jamaica.
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President Bush gets protests almost everywhere he goes--even at his residence in Crawford.
Can we try, somewhere along the line, the strange and bizarre step of enforcing said laws?
I think this has been one of president bush's best trips yet.
Yeah they'll be protests wherever he goes, but it seems like he's been gone ages and this trip has received much good press outside of the US.
I've always believed president bush is at his strongest and most appealing when he's out amongst the people, because unlike 99% of other politicians, deep down, he's just a simple guy. And I say that with much respect, his people person mentality had he not had to make such unpopular decisions, would have probably made him a very popular president.
However, I wouldn't change him for the world, mostly he's done the right thing and for the sake of the world, I'm very glad of that.
Interestingly a BBC reporter also noted that Bush is much more engaging when he is directly among people and away from the White House. He probably is more comfortable in those situations, guessing.
I have been told by people who have seen President Bush in person and by some who have heard from people who have seen him in person, that he likes to get out into the crowds and mingle, and that it makes his security detail quite nervous.
He is at his best at those times. Would love to get to meet him some day.
"Bush is much more engaging when he is directly among people"
Well, he's definatly been among *his* people the last few days. Does he even faintly remember what country he is President of?
Hundreds, not thousands of protestors. In a city with a population of 20 million.
On last night's BBC newscast they tried to make it sound huge. The video footage however showed mainly empty streets and a few violent protestors.
The BBC is without question, one of the greatest sources of anti-American propaganda in the world.
Words well said. I'm in your camp.
Was it the Mexicans who three rocks at Nixon's car when he was down that way when he was V.P.? If not, it was another country in Latin or S. America.