SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn and the governor of the state of Mexico have honored one of Mexico's leading statesmen.
Quinn and Eruviel Avila (eh-roo-vih-EHL' AH'-vih-lah) laid a wreath at the Chicago statue of Benito Juarez (beh-NEE'-toh WAHR'-ez).
Avila's trip to Illinois is the result of Quinn's trade mission to Mexico City last April.
Tuesday's ceremony came on the eve of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Juarez and Lincoln have been compared - from their humble beginnings to leading their nations through war.
In 1861, Juarez dispatched an envoy to Springfield to congratulate President-elect Lincoln. Juarez and Lincoln became friends through correspondence.
Quinn and Avila will travel to Springfield together to see a show about the meeting with Lincoln presented at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
Online: 150 Years of Friendship, http://1.usa.gov/1gqpWvm
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.