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Press Releases 09

U.S. Attorney General Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano
Firm on Bilateral Cooperation

Mexico City, April 3, 2009 – At the close of a two-day arms trafficking conference April 2 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano underscored U.S. Government commitment to work together with their Mexican partners in the fight against organized crime and the drug cartels. The conference, on April 1-2, was organized by Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora and attended by Secretary of Governance Fernando Gomez Mont and Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna. Holder and Napolitano met today with President Felipe Calderon, and continued their discussions with law-enforcement counterparts in Mexico City.

At an April 2 press conference with Mexican Attorney General Medina Mora, Attorney General Holder stated, “We are bound and determined to work with this country and with the people of this nation to eradicate this plague from both of our nations.” Referring to weapons flowing south over the US-Mexico border, Holder said, “There’s no doubt that the vast majority of weapons seized in Mexico come from the United States … We will take responsibility on our side to work with Mexico to get a handle on this serious problem.”

Secretary Napolitano, too, acknowledged our two countries’ joint commitment, stating, “We want to take advantage of this moment in time when we are all unified, to get at the scourge that really these cartels represent, recognizing their impact within Mexico but also within the United States.” To start to halt the southward flow of arms, she announced that $400 million in U.S. federal stimulus money would be used to increase the number of customs agents and improve technology devoted to inspecting cars and trucks heading into Mexico.

Both Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to use existing U.S. law and increase cooperation and information sharing with Mexican counterparts to reduce the flow of illegal arms and bulk cash from the United States to Mexico and address violence along our shared border.

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