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Madam Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Vice President.

Honorable Members of Congress, and as we say in Mexico, friends of Congress:

It is my great honor to be this day against you all. I thank the Congress and the American people for this invitation. I want to express my gratitude to all those present, who have supported Mexico during very challenging times. Also, Mexico greetings to all Americans and all Latinos who every day work for the prosperity of this great nation.

Mexico is a young country, but an ancient nation. Our roots go back thousands of years ago. However, this year is especially meaningful to us.

This year marks the bicentennial of our independence, two hundred years of being free and proud proudly Mexican. At that time, Mexico was the first nation of continental America to abolish slavery.

And they have exactly 100 years after the Mexican Revolution, a revolution against oppression, a revolution for justice and democracy.

As you can see, Mexico was founded on the same values and principles that the United States of America.

We are very proud of this past. However, the people of Mexico and his government, we are focused on the future.

This is the reason why Mexico is a country in a continuous process of transformation. We are

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committed to change, and we are taking decisions that will make Mexico a more prosperous democracy.

One of the most important changes that are live Mexico is our commitment to firmly establish the rule of law. That is why we are deploying the full force of the state to tackle organized crime with determination and courage.

Let me be clear. This fight is not solely or primarily to stop drug trafficking. The aim is to ensure the safety of Mexican families, who are under threat of abuse and wanton acts of criminals.

As I said to people of Mexico in my inaugural address, to restore public safety will not be easy and not quick. It will cost time and money and unfortunately, to our great regret, also cost lives. This is a battle that has to be fought, because what is at stake is the future of our families. But, I said, you can be sure of one thing: it is a battle that united us, the Mexicans, we will win.

We can not ignore the fact that the challenge for the insecurity has roots on both sides of the border. After all, its origin is in high demand for drugs here and elsewhere.

The Secretary of State, Clinton has said: We accept our share of responsibility. We know that drug demand generated in large part, this illegal trade.

This statement is symbolic of our new relationship. We have gone from a relationship in the past, based on suspicion and blaming each other, to a relationship of cooperation and mutual understanding in the present.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate President Obama on his recent initiative to reduce drug use. I hope, for the sake of our two nations and around the hemisphere, to be successful.

Now I want to tell you that Mexico is doing to confront and overcome this problem.

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In the first place. We hesitated to use the full power of the state, including the Federal Police and the Armed Forces, to support local governments threatened by organized crime.

This is a temporary measure to restore order. The aim is to give local governments time and opportunity to rebuild and strengthen their security and justice institutions.

Secondly. We are weakening the financial and operational capacities of criminal gangs. Federal operatives have managed to seize the criminals unprecedented amounts of drugs, money and weapons.

We're hitting and we are hitting hard.

Also, the Federal forces have arrested many major criminals who are now being tried in Mexico. And we have extradited a record number of criminals to be tried here in the United States.

Third. We are rebuilding our institutions and our security forces, particularly at the federal level. Since the beginning of my administration, we have tripled the budget for the Federal Police and we have multiplied the size of its force. We are recruiting young men and women, honest and securities, who are better trained, better paid and better equipped.

Fourth. We are transforming our justice system to make it more transparent and efficient. We are moving to a system and open oral trials, such as those based on their own system of justice.

And in fifth place. We have set up social programs to prevent our young people to join the ranks of criminals, which includes programs for prevention and treatment of addictions

As you can see, we are doing everything in our power to combat this threat and ensure our common future. We are fulfilling our duty as a good neighbor, doing homework on our side of

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the border.

The United States also are helping. Congress passed the Merida Initiative, which is greatly appreciated, and our government are sharing more information than ever to fight crime.

However, there is an issue where Mexico needs your cooperation. That is, stop the flow of high- powered weapons and other lethal weapons across the border.

Respect fully. Let me be very clear here. I fully respect and admire the U.S. Constitution. And I understand that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure that all good American citizens the ability to defend themselves and their nation.

But believe me, many of these weapons are ending up in the hands of honest Americans. Instead, thousands of these weapons are ending up in the hands of criminals. Just to give you an idea. In Mexico, over the past three years, we have seized 75,000 guns and high-powered weapons and more than 80 percent of which have been able to track, from the United States.

And if you look closely, you may realize that violence in Mexico began to grow a couple of years before I took office in 2006. This coincides, at least, with the repeal of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004.

At some point, once they had access to such weapons, the criminals in Mexico decided to challenge the authorities. Today, these weapons are being used by criminals, not only to attack rival gangs, but also to Mexican civilians and authorities. And with all due respect, if you do not adequately regulate the sale of these weapons, there is no guarantee that criminals here in America, with access to these very powerful weapons, will not decide to turn point to the authorities and citizens.

It is true that the United States Government is carrying out operations against arms dealers. It is also true that today there are more than 7000 armories along the border with Mexico, where practically anyone can buy these high-powered weapons.

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I fully understand the political sensitivity of this issue. But I would ask Congress to help us, with all respect, and understand how important this is for us and that you apply the law to stop the supply of such weapons to criminals. And ask them to consider the return of the Assault Weapons Ban.

By any legal means you deem appropriate, work together to stop this deadly trade that threatens both Mexico and his own people.

I have spoken in detail about this subject, on security, because I know that is a major concern of the American people. However, as I said before, Mexico is a country that is undergoing profound changes, and our relationship goes far beyond just the issue of security.

We are transforming our economy into a competitive and strong, able to generate the jobs needed by Mexicans. I believe in freedom. I believe in the market. I believe in all the principles to strengthen economies and provide comfort to persons

We are conducting a series of structural reforms that had been ignored for decades in Mexico. We begin, for example, to reform the public pension system, which guarantee the retirement of public servants, while we save 30 points of GDP to net present value for our public finances.

Met the adoption of a tax reform that reduced our dependence on oil and allowed us to continue to finance our development, keeping our budget deficit by one percent of GDP.

We also made major changes in the oil sector. These allow Pemex, the state oil company, granting more flexible contracts specialized global companies and thus increase their efficiency and operational and financial capacity, in order to get more oil and natural gas.

This will ensure our energy independence and strengthen the energy security of the region.

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And finally. We have increased our investment in infrastructure of 3-5 percentage points of GDP per year, to build roads, ports, airports and power plants we need to modernize. This is the most important investment in infrastructure in decades.

These changes are making Mexico a more modern country, as well as a stronger partner of the United States.

The energy reform, tax reform, reform the pension system and investment in infrastructure, among others, we are preparing for a better tomorrow, but also allowed us to overcome the terrible economic crisis last year.

Then, the Mexican economy experienced its worst contraction in modern times.

However, thanks to a strong regulation, not a single penny of taxpayers was assigned to a bank in Mexico last year. We also had the capacity to accelerate implementation of counter-measures, such as a temporary public works program and increased lending to small businesses.

With these measures could save hundreds of thousands of jobs in Mexico.

We were able to overcome adversity, even when we faced a number of emergencies, which alone would have undermined the foundations of a weak country.

Last year we faced the perfect storm. Apart from the crisis, overcome the second worst drought in sixty years, the worst drop in history in oil production and the emergence of human influenza virus H1N1.

So, today I can come before you and say with confidence that Mexico is emerging as a nation stronger and more determined than ever. A nation and a people ready to face the future and take their rightful place in the world.

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And the future starts today. Today, the Mexican economy is recovering.

To date, Mexico has created more than 400 000 new jobs, 400 000 new jobs, which is the highest figure for a semester in Mexico. In the first quarter of the Mexican economy grew by 4.3 percent and we are waiting for the full-year growth exceeding 4 percent in our economy. This means, among other things, greater prosperity for our people and more Mexicans are buying more American products.

We have made structural reforms to modernize our economy and will be more.

Today, our Congress is debating an initiative to strengthen our legislation against drugs, and a new labor legislation that will provide greater opportunities for women and youth. And my government is bidding for both wireless frequencies as a dark fiber network in order to increase competition and telecommunications coverage.

Mexico is on the right path to development now.

Just as we are promoting economic progress, we are also improving the quality of life of all Mexicans, under the principle of equal opportunities for all.

Thanks to Opportunities, an advanced program to combat poverty, Mexico has been able to

reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty from 35 million in 1996 to 14 million in

2006.

This program benefits to six million poor families, which means one in four Mexicans.

Equal opportunity means more and better education. We have awarded grants to six million

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children of all ages in poverty. At the same time, we are investing unprecedented resources in public universities free. And today almost 90 000 students graduate as engineers and technicians each year in my country.

We want all our young people the opportunity to study.

Equal opportunities means access to health services for all. In three years, we have tripled the budget of the Seguro Popular, and rebuilt or rehabilitated more than 700 thousand public hospitals and clinics, more than one a day.

This allows us to reach a goal of any nation would be proud: universal health coverage by 2012. A doctor, medicine and treatment for all Mexicans in need.

Equal opportunity means more and better education, aggressive programs to combat poverty and universal health coverage.

By improving opportunities for all, we are giving people one less reason to leave Mexico.

As you can see, Mexico is a country in transformation. This is making us even more in a strategic partner for the future prosperity of Americans.

The world is becoming more global and more interconnected. It is also divided into major economic regions. Those regions that maximize their comparative advantages will be succeed. And our two countries must compete with Asia and Europe.

Mexico and the United States are stronger together than apart. Our economic ties have strengthened our economies and together we can renew our partnership to restore economic growth more robust and faster on both sides of the border.

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A stronger Mexico means a stronger America. Do not forget that Mexicans are the second largest

importer of American goods in the world. And a stronger America, of course, means a stronger Mexico.

So I invite you to work with Mexico and consolidate North America as the world's most competitive region. I believe in it.

Together generate more jobs for American workers, and more jobs for Mexican workers.

Members of Congress.

I am not a President to give you glad to see Mexicans leave their country in search of

opportunities abroad. With the migration, our communities lose their best people: the hardest working, most dynamic, community leaders. Each migrant is a father who will never see their children.

(Words in Spanish)

I want to tell the migrants, who are working here for the greatness of this great country, we admire, that we miss, we are fighting for their rights and we are working hard for Mexico and for their families

(Continued Interpretation from English into Spanish)

I mean the migrants, all those who are working very hard for this great country, we admire, that we miss, we're working hard for their rights and we're working really hard for Mexico and for their families.

Today we are doing everything we can to reduce migration to create opportunities and create jobs for Mexicans in our own country, where their homes, where their families, as many jobs as we can create. Mexico will one day be a country in which our people find there today looking for opportunities elsewhere.

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Meanwhile, Mexico is determined to take responsibility. For us, migration is not only a problem for you. We see it as our problem too.

My Government does not help to break the rules. Fully respect the right of any country to set and enforce their own laws, but what we need today is to fix a broken and inefficient system.

We favor the establishment of laws that work, and that works for everyone.

It is time that the United States and Mexico work together on this issue. It is time to reduce the causes of migration and the transformation of this phenomenon in a flow characterized by a legal, orderly and safe for workers and visitors. We want to provide opportunities for Mexicans who are looking for. That is our goal. That is our mission as a government: to transform Mexico into a land of opportunity. Providing our people jobs and opportunities for them to live in peace and be happy.

I want to acknowledge the hard work and leadership of many of you in the Senate and House of Representatives, and President Obama, determined to find those responsible and objective responses to this issue.

I am convinced that comprehensive immigration reform is also crucial to secure a common border.

However, I completely disagree with the recent adoption of the law in Arizona. It is a law that not only ignores a reality that can not be erased by decree, but also introduces a terrible idea:

using racial features as a basis for applying the law.

And so I agree, I agree with the President when he says that this new law carries a high risk when they violate the basic values we all matter. I do not want to deepen the divide in feelings and emotions between our countries and between our peoples.

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I believe in bridges. I believe in communication. I believe in cooperation and together we must find better ways to confront and overcome this common problem.

And finally. The welfare of our people depends not only on our ability to address regional challenges, but global. This is the case of climate change. This is the case, for example, non- proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world.

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges for humanity. Global warming requires the commitment of all nations, developed and developing countries. Therefore, Mexico has become the first developing country that is committed to specific goals and programs to reduce the emission of pollutants.

As hosts of the next COP 16, are working hard to advance the fight against climate change. For its global leadership, we need your support to make this meeting in Cancun in November this year a success.

Madam Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Vice President.

Honorable Members of the United States Congress.

Mexico is a country undergoing a profound transformation. We are building the future that our people deserve a future of opportunity, a future of liberty, equality, the rule of law, a future of security, where families and their children can go out to work, study and play without fear. And above all, a future where our children and their children achieve their dreams.

I came here as your neighbor, as his partner, as an ally and as his friend. Our two great nations are bound together by geography and history, but more importantly, we are united by a shared bright future. I believe in the future of North America as the region stronger and more prosperous

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in the world. This is possible.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: The only limit to realize tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Move forward with strong and active faith. And I say: Let us work together with a strong and active faith to give our people the future they deserve.

Thank you very much for your invitation.

God bless America.

Viva Mexico.