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Argentine president calls US border fence plan 'insult' to Latin America

By , Associated Press

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A U.S. plan to expand fences along the Mexican border to stem illegal immigration is an insult to all Latin Americans, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner said Tuesday during a visit to Mexico.

"It's not just an insult to our sister nation of Mexico, but to all the nations of Latin America and all the nations of the world," Kirchner said to the applause of Mexican lawmakers.

U.S. President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress have approved a planned 1,100-kilometer (700-mile) fence along the Mexican border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is committed to completing 370 miles (595 kilometers) of fencing by the end of 2008.

Kirchner, ending a two-day visit to Mexico accompanied by his wife and presidential candidate, Cristina Fernandez, also signaled his differences on economic issues with conservative Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

"Four years ago, the Argentine people decided to leave behind the policies of the Washington consensus, which only served to trap us in a vicious cycle of indebtedness," said the populist leader, who has been credited for rescuing Argentina from a devastating fiscal crisis at the beginning of his term. "We have made our own decisions."...

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