President Barack Obama addressed an audience at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City on Friday.
Obama arrived Thursday to meet with the country's new leader, Enrique Peña Nieto.
The two were expected to tackle the thorny issues of immigration and the drug trade, as well as strategize new economic partnerships.
"I have come to Mexico because it is time to put old mindsets aside. It’s time to recognize new realities, including the impressive progress in today’s Mexico. For even as Mexicans continue to make courageous sacrifices for the security of your country; even as Mexicans in the countryside and in neighborhoods not far from here struggle to give their children a better life…it’s also clear that a new Mexico is emerging," said Obama.
He praised Mexico's democracy, including its citizens, "courageous press" and "robust civil society." He told the audience, "You’ve joined the ranks of the world’s largest economies, and became the first Latin American nation to host the G-20, another confident step on the world stage."