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Press Releases 09

Merida Initiative Brings Members of U.S. Congress to Mexico

Mexico City, February 18, 2009 - From February 16 to 18, New York Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, led a bipartisan congressional delegation to look at Merida Initiative implementation in Mexico. The delegation also met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and members of Mexico’s congress. The delegation included Representatives Jean Schmidt of Ohio, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, John Salazar of Colorado, Mark Souder from Indiana, Ruben Hinojosa of Texas, and Henry Cuellar from Texas.

Representative Engel, one of Congress’s main advocates of the Merida Initiative, said that the initiative paves the way forward for a new model of cooperation. He also expressed hope that Congress and the Obama Administration would do more to curb the trafficking of firearms from the United States into Mexico. The delegation met for nearly an hour on Tuesday with President Calderon, and had positive and substantive discussions on security cooperation and the important role Mexico plays as an economic partner to the United States. The U.S. congressmen also met Tuesday with Mexican Senate President Gustavo Madero and Senators Luis Alberto Villareal, Rosario Green, and Silvano Aureoles from the Commission on Foreign Relations - North America.

The delegation called on Attorney General Medina Mora, visited Public Security Secretariat (SSP) facilities in Mexico City and met with Mexican law enforcement personnel to learn more about Mexico’s reform and modernization efforts.

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