President Clinton was formally welcomed to Mexico by President Zedillo and offered brief remarks at a ceremony held at Campo Marte, a large military parade ground in downtown Mexico City. The arrival ceremony included symbols of Mexican sovereignty, singing schoolchildren, an artillery salute and a parade of Mexican cavalry and military academy cadets.
Bilateral Meeting with President Zedillo
President Clinton met with President Zedillo at Los Pinos, the Mexican Presidential Residence, to reaffirm the United States, commitment to deepening cooperation between Mexico and the United States on a broad range of bilateral issues, including counter narcotics, immigration, border cooperation and safety, hemispheric free trade, labor and the environment. It also provided President Clinton with an opportunity to salute President Zedillo's determined pursuit of political and economic reform and to reiterate U.S. support for these ongoing efforts.
Binational Commission Report, Joint Press Conference and Signing Ceremony
Secretaries Albright and Gurria, co-chairs of the Binational Commission (a Mexican/American body that oversees many aspects of U.S./Mexico bilateral cooperation), presented Presidents Clinton and Zedillo with the report of the Commission's 14th annual meeting. The presentation was followed by a joint press conference and a signing ceremony.
Wreath Laying Ceremony
President Clinton, accompanied by President Zedillo and a military honor guard, placed a wreath as a tribute to Mexico's fallen at the Monumento Ninos Heroes, the Child Heroes Monument, at the base of Chapultepec Castle. Although officially called the Altar to the Nation, the site is popularly known as the Child Heroes Monument after a group of six young cadets who supposedly chose to die defending the castle rather than surrender it to Americans during the Battle of Chapultepec (September 13, 1847). The only other U.S President to lay a wreath at this monument was President Truman, during his visit in 1947, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Chapultepec. Meeting with Mexican Political Leaders
Meeting with Mexican Political Leaders
President Clinton met with a variety of Mexican political leaders representing both the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and opposition parties. The meeting provided President Clinton with an opportunity to stress the United States' support for the historic processes of political reform in Mexico, and provided the Mexican political leaders with an opportunity to share their views on U.S.-Mexico relations.
Cultural Presentation at the Palace of Belles Artes
President Clinton attended a cultural presentation at the Main Theater of the Palace of Belles Artes. The presentation featured Mexican and American 20th century classical music, and included performances by Mexican and American musicians.
State Dinner at the National Palace
President Clinton attended a 600-person State dinner at the National Palace. Guests included members of President Clinton's official delegation, prominent members of all three branches of Mexico,s government, heads of state corporations, governors of Mexican states, presidents of political parties, and leaders from the business, labor and academic communities. Before dinner, President Clinton received a brief tour of the famous Diego Rivera mural on the second floor of the main courtyard. The 1200 square foot mural is titled "Epic of the Mexican People in Their Struggle for Freedom and Independence."