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Human rights crisis threatens to overshadow Mexican president’s visit to UK

March 3, 2015

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Mexico’s beleaguered President Enrique Peña Nieto touched down in London on Monday for a three-day state visit intended to strengthen trade and cultural ties between Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Peña Nieto’s arrival came with controversy in the UK, with some outlets in the British press expressing concern over the government’s decision to roll out the red carpet for the state visit, given the level of human rights abuses reported in Mexico. The Mexican president and First Lady Angelica Rivera will stay at Buckingham Palace and meet the queen and Prime Minister David Cameron.

On Tuesday, Peña Nieto and his wife are scheduled to visit Westminster Abbey and be treated to a banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Peña Nieto has been lauded on the international stage for passing an array of market-friendly reforms and jailing some of Mexico’s top drug lords, including Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, the head of the Knights Templar cartel, who was captured on Friday after an eight-month manhunt.

However, his image has been tarred by recent corruption scandals and the likely massacre of 43 teachers college students last September, which caused the United Nations to condemn Mexico’s record on forced disappearances last month.

The president was also embarrassed recently when Mexican film director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu used his Academy Awards acceptance speech to implore that Mexico “find and build the government that we deserve”…

Click here to read this feature in full at VICE News.

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