By KELIN DILLON
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Mexico for the first time in her new role on Tuesday, June 8, with an aim to discuss hot button issues between the two countries like immigration policy and climate change.
Ahead of Harris’s arrival, the National Palace, where Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) lives, was given a facelift with a deep cleaning of its stone, polishing of statues and the removal of weeds and debris outside the building’s doors.
Likewise, the security presence in the area was amplified in anticipation of the U.S. politician’s visit, with increased identification measures for everyone on the premises and a heightened presence of the military and police.
Harris’s trip is already surrounded in controversy after AMLO publicly denounced the U.S. government for its funding of Mexican non-profit organizations he claimed “fueled descent” against his administration in what he said was a “soft coup,” as well as the Mexican Senate’s announcement that it had cancelled its scheduled meeting with the U.S. official.
The scheduled visit started off rocky when Harris’s plane, set to take the VP to Guatemala before heading to Mexico the following day, suffered a technical problem after taking off in the United States, forcing the plane to ground and for Harris to switch aircrafts.
Harris and López Obrador are expected to discuss themes like security, drug trafficking, climate change, renewable energy, human rights and the most forefront current issue between Mexico and the United States, immigration at the border of the two countries.