San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
Mexico and US Deal Forcefully with Common Threats

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Press Release

The Presidency reports that at the official Los Pinos residence, Mexican President Felipe Calderón received Mexican and US officials who took part in the Second Top Level meeting on Cooperation against Organized Transnational Crime.

During the meeting, Foreign Affairs Secretary Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and State Secretary Hillary Clinton informed the Mexican president of this morning's conversations regarding various aspects of bilateral cooperation on this issue. They noted that the meeting reflects the high priority both governments placed on bilateral cooperation against transnational organized crime, on the basis of four strategic areas requiring priority attention: a) The dismantling of the criminal organizations acting in both countries; b) the strengthening of the institutions responsible for implementing justice; c) the development of a safe, competitive border for the 21st century and d) the reinforcement of social cohesion in communities in the two countries.

For his part, President Calderón said that Mexico and the US are dealing firmly with the common threats posed by organized crime in either country, in the belief that international cooperation is the most effective instrument for achieving success. In this respect, he hailed President Barack Obama's commitment to boosting the exchange of information and intelligence as well as the coordination and cooperation between both countries and stressed the importance of follow-up.

Given the scope of the challenge, President Calderón stressed the need for the two countries to redouble their efforts to combat transnational organized crime, by operating on either side of the shared border, particularly as regards arms and money trafficking. They should also strengthen their strategies to control demand and the treatment of addicts from a public health perspective that will complement efforts to implement justice. Shared responsibility, said the President, must be achieved in the efforts to intercept drugs, weapons and cash and the dismantling of criminal groups, and the prevention and control of the consumption of illegal drugs.

Mexican participants in the Second Round of the Top Level group included: Foreign Affairs Secretary, Ambassador Patricia Espinosa Cantellano; Interior Secretary, Fernando Gomez Mont Urueta; National Defense Secretary, General Guillermo Galván Galván; Navy Secretary, Admiral Francisco Saynez Mendoza; Public Security Secretary, Genaro García Luna; Attorney General, Arturo Chávez Chávez; Directors of the Center for Research and National Security, Guillermo Valdés Castellanos; of General Customs Administration, Juan José Bravo; the Financial Intelligence Unit, Luis Urrutia; Director of the Tax Administration System, Alfredo Gutiérrez; of the National Banking and Assets Commission, Guillermo Babatz; Jorge Tello, Technical Secretary of the National Security Council; Under-Secretary of North America, Julián Ventura, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan.

US attendees included: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Janet A. Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security; Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense; John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.; Arturo Valenzuela, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs.; Gary Grindler, Acting Deputy Attorney General; Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense; Michele M. Leonhart, Acting Administrator of the DEA. (DEA); Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, and Adam Szubin, Director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, and US Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual.