<!-- IMAGE -->The United States and Mexico continue to look for ways to combat
criminal bands of drug traffickers wreaking havoc on both sides of our
mutual border. At a meeting in Washington December 19, senior
diplomatic, law enforcement, defense and anti-drug officials renewed
their commitment to the struggle now seen as threatening the security
of both nations.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels
when he took office in 2006. In March 2007, President Bush met with
President Caldron in Merida, Mexico and announced a partnership to
confront these transnational criminal organizations The U.S. is helping
through the Merida Initiative, a multi-year, $1.4 billion security
cooperation package. The cartels have killed thousands of people in
Mexico this year, targeting elected officials, law enforcement
officers, military personnel, and journalists and in turf wars over
their operations, even each other. They are as ruthless and brutal as
any terrorist group in their contempt for the lives and well-being of
their victims and their societies.
In Merida, The United States and Mexico have reaffirmed a commitment
to enhanced partnership, cooperation, training, assistance and
information sharing, built on the premise that we have a shared
responsibility to confront these criminals and protect our citizens,
and that success requires increased cooperation, said U.S. Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice.
She also acknowledged that to thwart gangs manufacturing illegal
drugs for use in the U.S., America must do everything it can do to
reduce demand. We consider that part of our responsibility, she said.