Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico, is being welcomed in Los Angeles this evening by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — to promote tourism. "The world comes together in Los Angeles and we are proud that President Calderon's visit will promote tourism and cultural exchange between two great nations," Villaraigosa said in a statement.
Now the news from Mexico, via William Booth (the former Los Angeles bureau chief) in the Washington Post:
The timing couldn’t have been worse.
As Mexican President Felipe Calderon was unveiling a new campaign and TV program Tuesday to draw wary tourists back to his country, a gang dumped 35 bodies at a busy intersection in the tourist zone in the coastal city of Veracruz.
No one suggests that the events are related, but the gruesome appearance of two truckloads of bloody corpses in front of a large shopping mall at rush hour — just a few blocks from a hotel where state prosecutors were meeting — dominated the news cycle here and threatened to overwhelm Calderon’s campaign to woo tourists.