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Obama kicks off three day visit to Mexico, Central America

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Updated: 5/02/2013 3:47 pm

(NBC News)President Barack Obama on Thursday begins a whirlwind trip to Latin America, where a high-profile meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto involving immigration, drug violence and trade tops the agenda.

Obama will travel to America's southern neighbor amid a changing relationship with Mexico, fueled in part by Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) member Pena Nieto's election to Mexican presidency following 12 years of conservative governance. Already, Pe?a Nieto has signaled his interest in revisiting an aspect of Mexico's relationship with the U.S. government, namely the collaboration in combating violent drug traffickers in Mexico.

"I think that in my first conversation with Pena Nieto, he indicated to me that he very much continues to be concerned about how we can work together to deal with transnational drug cartels," Obama said at a press conference Tuesday at the White House. "We've made great strides in the coordination and cooperation between our two governments over the last several years. But my suspicion is is that things can be improved."

-- Steve Handelsman, NBC News, reports

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