1st Mexican agents finish US training

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Angelhair

    Angelhair Senior Member

    Aug 22, 2009
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    NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Twenty-four Mexican customs agents completed a U.S. training course Friday, becoming the first foreign agents to do so as officials from both nations praised the training as another step in the fight against international crime.

    "Your achievement is a milestone in the history of the relationship between our two countries," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the graduates.

    Mexican Treasury Secretary Ernest Cordero Arroyo and other officials also attended graduation ceremonies at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

    "We share the same realization about the threats to our security. We know these threats do not respect international boundaries," Napolitano said. "Drug cartels operate in both countries - they are transnational organizations and fighting them demands a response that is transnational and is coordinated."

    More than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since Mexico's President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on organized crime in 2006. Officials in both nations agree the vast profits cartels collect in the U.S., estimated at upward of $35 billion a year, fuel drug wars south of the border.

    "Part of the responsibility of the United States is to help disrupt and dismantle the cartels by putting pressure on the smuggling of contraband that feeds them, whether it be illegal drugs, illegal weapons or illegal cash," Napolitano told the graduates.

    The U.S.-Mexican border extends roughly 1,900 miles, and drug cartels have bribed customs agents on both sides.

    The training program was funded as part of the $1.4 Mérida Initiative that the U.S. Congress approved to fight the drug war. Officials have said one of the biggest benefits has been unprecedented cooperation on law enforcement.

    1st Mexican agents finish US training

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