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Focus of Mexico president’s visit will be on shared business interests, not human rights – Dr Benjamin Smith

The thoughts of Dr Benjamin Smith, associate professor of Latin American history at the University of Warwick, ahead of a visit to the UK by the president of Mexico.

He said:

"Tomorrow (Tuesday 3 March) the Queen will welcome Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, to the UK. Over the next few days he will meet the prime minister and other dignitaries to celebrate the start of UK-Mexican year.

"Human rights activists are concerned that the British government has made no mention of Mexico’s problems with torture, official impunity and corruption. Recent scandals in Mexico include the alleged cover up of the Iguala massacre. Although the Mexican government maintains that small time criminals kidnapped, murdered and burned the 43 missing students, many point to considerable evidence that state police and the army were also involved. Even Peña Nieto has not been immune to accusations of wrong doing. Last year newspapers revealed that his wife, a former soap star, had received a house from a construction company that received millions in government contracts.

"Instead, the Foreign Office has been keen to stress the UK and Mexico’s shared business interests. HSBC will sponsor Peña Nieto Wednesday evening talk at Lancaster house. Here, there seems to be common ground. Both Mexico and the UK have refused to prosecute HSBC bosses accused of laundering billions of dollars in Mexican drug money."

Note to Editors:

Dr Ben Smith is available for broadcast interviews from our on-campus studio. Contact Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email:


Further Information

Lee Page, Communications Manager

+44 (0)2476 574 255

+44 (0)7920 531 221