Clinton visits Basilica of Guadalupe, police centre in Mexico

Clinton visits Basilica of Guadalupe, police centre in Mexico Mexico City  - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Federal Police command centre in the second day of her visit to Mexico.

In the morning hours, Clinton went to the religious building, where she heard an explanation of the importance that this statue of the Virgin Mary has for the Mexican people.

She was told about the cloth where her image was printed according to tradition, and about her appearances in apparitions to the indigenous 16th Century Mexican Juan Diego, who was canonized in 2002.

"She was impressed," said the rector of the basilica, the Reverend Diego Monroy.

The shrine, one of the most visited around the world, has in recent months been visited among others by former US Republican presidential candidate John McCain and by former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who thanked the Virgin for her rescue after her release from more than six years in the captivity of leftist Colombian rebels.

Clinton reportedly laid roses and a candle before the "virgen morenita."

She then travelled to the neighbourhood of Itzapalapa, in western Mexico City, along with Mexican Public Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna to visit a modern police command facility that was opened last year.

Later Thursday, she was to travel to the northern Mexican city of Monterrey for the last stage of her two-day trip. There, she is to visit a renewable energy plant and to hold a meeting with students.

On Wednesday, Clinton met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, with his Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa and with security officials, in a visit that has focussed on joint efforts to contain the drug trade.

In a statement that was considered historic in Mexico, Clinton remarked to reporters Wednesday that the "insatiable demand" for illegal drugs in the US feeds the drug violence and trade. (dpa)

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