Interview With Rossana Fuentes of CNN en Espanol

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Teatro Juarez
Guanajuato, Mexico
January 24, 2011

QUESTION: Well, I have to ask you about the shuttle diplomacy, D.C. to Mexico in less than 24 hours. Why do you take the toll, and why now? Why today?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have such a close working relationship now, and Secretary Espinosa and I are coordinating many different working groups. We have people working on everything you can imagine. And we like to get together and catch up and see where we stand. And we’re hoping to have a next meeting of the High Consultative Group that met in Mexico City a year ago March sometime very soon in the United States. It’s our turn to host. So we needed to get together to catch up, and it was my pleasure and my opportunity to come and do that here.

QUESTION: You have talked at length about security issues. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about arms coming from the U.S., drugs going up. Beyond the complexity, what can be done realistically to broaden the agenda?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, two things. In the security agenda, we are broadening it. We are doing more on money laundering, arms trafficking, providing equipment and support for law enforcement to take the steps that they need to take. But then we have this whole other agenda which supports the security agenda: helping to reform the judiciary, providing advice and support there; helping to support what the Calderon Administration is doing with the new detention and corrections system. Because all those institutions have to fit together. It is something we know from the work we’ve done around the world, that if you have law enforcement putting their lives, literally, on the firing line, and they capture a drug pin and they don’t have a place to hold him securely or they don’t have a court system to prosecute him effectively, because he has all the money in the world, that’s very discouraging. That’s demoralizing. So we are trying to do everything we can to help with this very broad agenda.

But there are so many other things. I mean, we’re pushing the competitiveness, economic growth. We have border crossings. We have a bi-national park. We’re working on water. We’re doing so much.

QUESTION: I’ll get to competitiveness, but before that let me ask you about 2012.


QUESTION: You have two years --


QUESTION: -- both administrations --


QUESTION: How confident are you that if what we know on the polls, that the PRI so far is ahead, that this agenda will keep going if the frontrunner, Governor Peña Nieto, or anybody from the PRD comes into play? How do you – are thinking to manage that? I mean, what do you think about this possibility of alternation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have no role to play about internal Mexican politics. That’s up to the Mexican people. We will work with the democratically elected Government of Mexico. We have a strong partnership with President Calderon now because we really support what he’s trying to do, taking on the drug traffickers. We think that would be the goal of any administration regardless of political party. There may be different approaches or different tactics to achieve that goal, but since security and the safety of your citizens is the number one responsibility of any leader, I can’t imagine that anyone in a position of leadership would not have that as a goal and then would try to figure out the best way to achieve it.

QUESTION: The state of the union competitiveness, the U.S. number one priority is stated as such. How can Mexico become part of the equation that your husband saw in 1994, part of the competitiveness vis-à-vis manufacturing in China and the currency war going on?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think there is so much opportunity here, and we talked about some of it in our meeting. For example, we should be doing much more on jointly developing clean energy technology. This is a win/win for both countries. We should be committed to having an integrated electricity grid that we can use to create more jobs by creating more capacity. We should be looking to enhance the easy transit across the border. That’s what these three new border crossings – two in Texas, one in Arizona – are designed to do. And we’re working on a 21st century border modernization agenda. So there’s a lot of aspects to competitiveness that we think have to be part of this broad discussion we’re having with Mexico.

QUESTION: Final one. The Clinton bunch – how do you meet – the ultimate power couple? Where do you meet? How do you socialize with the new couple, with Chelsea and her new husband? And are you ready to be a grandma?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, absolutely. But we spend as much time with our daughter and our husband as they will let us. So we, luckily, live in New York near where they live, because that gives us an easier chance to get together for dinner or go to the theater or just hang out. And we’re always looking for excuses to do that.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, are you really ready to leave? It was said that you were preparing. Are you preparing to have more time? What’s next for you?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know what’s next, but I am looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my life. I’ve been involved in American politics at the highest level for a really long time now, nearly 20 years, and I think it’s time to move on and do some other things.

QUESTION: Really, Grandma Clinton?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Well, also I want to write and speak and teach and advocate, particularly about women and girls, so I think I’ll have a lot to do in the world.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Great to see you again.

QUESTION: Great to see you.


QUESTION: Thank you.

PRN: 2011/T38-2