US, Mexico, Reaffirm Commitment Against Drug Trafficking
Two contries reafirmed their commitment to combat drug trafficking, the two governments outlined a growing concern for drug generated violence on both sides of the Mexico-USA border.
At a news conference with Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said U.S.-Mexican partnership is indispensable in breaking the "power and impunity" of drug gangs, whose internecine warfare on the Mexican side of the border this year has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
Foreign Secretary Espinosa said the Merida program, launched by President Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon in March of last year, has raised joint anti-drug cooperation to unprecedented levels. She spoke through an interpreter:
"This is an initiative that presents a great opportunity so that, together, Mexico and the United States can be more effective in addressing what is a shared threat and that is trans-national organized crime. The drug market leads to crimes in money-laundering, in pre-cursor chemicals, in weapons trafficking, in corruption, and a growing level of violence that affects our societies on both sides of the border," she said.