Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mexico City, March 23

Gold-plated pistols and weird corned beef pastries are what awaits visitors to the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

We came down with Clinton today for a one-day visit to talk about Plan Merida, the joinet U.S.-Mexico anti-drug effort. Clinton has brought a range of heavy hitters with her, including Homeland Security chief Napolitano, Defense Secretary Bob Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Mexicans cleared the downtown -- no small feat -- so the motorcade could go through unimpeded, although we seem to have a lot of herky-jerky stops anyway. We went directly to the Foreign Ministry, where we are essentially stuck all day.

The gold-plated guns (including AK-47s) were part of an exhibition in the lobby to illustrate some of the firepower captured from narco-traffickers (most of which comes into Mexico from the United States). The corned beef pastries are lunch -- which is too bad because somehow I sense there could be a good taqueria just around the corner....

The Foreign Ministry itself is sort of 80's....lots of primary colors, floor-to-ceiling windows and a strong smell of detergent. They've got an interesting sculpture/fountain in the main courtyard, featuring lots of little pyramids...