Uncomfortable question for Mexico's president
The North American Leaders' Summit will be held next week in New Orleans — bringing together President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
In terms of actual news, these events can be a little light. The "three amigos," as they're called, usually issue a press release at the end of day-long meetings, restating their commitment to work together for the good of North America, and so on, and then everyone goes home.
The final press conference usually consists of VERY long statements by each leader and then six questions from the journalists — two from the Americans, two from the Mexicans, two from the Canadians. It's interesting to watch each country's scribes huddle before the event, putting aside competition, ego, etc., to come up with the two most pressing questions for their own nations. The Canadians, as a rule, usually use these occasions to get a rare chance to put a question directly to the U.S. President — and to the Mexican leader too, if there's an obvious Canada-Mexico issue on the horizon.
Picture this, then: Next week, with Bush and Harper standing beside him, and all the U.S. and Mexican networks airing the press conference live, Calderon will probably be asked about the case of Brenda Martin, the Canadian woman who's spent two years in a Guadalajara jail.
That probably explains why we're seeing some action on this issue this week. The judge hearing Martin's case today has promised a verdict by Friday. Just in time to prevent what could be some awkward questions next week.