Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bush's Mexican "Listening Tour": Dia Uno

Bush lands in Mérida late last night.

Security measures here - in a city that many consider among the safest in Latin America - left some locals shaking their heads in disbelief.

"I don't understand why there's so much security," mused Sterling Alberto, 35, a luggage handler at Mérida's International Airport, surrounded by security detail, Black Hawk helicopters buzzing overhead and military convoys outside. "You'd think that a villain, not a friend, is coming to visit."

A security force of nearly 3,000 - more than 400 from the U.S. - lined the city's main thoroughfares, awaiting Bush's arrival late Monday. In the nearby tiny town of Temozón, where Bush and Calderón are to meet Tuesday, local police were disarmed, some classes were suspended and a 9 p.m. curfew was in place until Bush departs on Wednesday.

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