On February 27, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signed customs agreements in Mexico to strengthen security along the border between the two countries, the Mexican Secretariat of the Treasury and Public Credit announced.
On that day, at the National Palace, Janet Napolitano and Mexican Treasury and Public Credit Secretary José Antonio Meade celebrated “the signing of agreements to strengthen customs cooperation between Mexico and the United States,” the Mexican agency announced.
The U.S. official began a working trip in Mexico that will last until February 29 and will include visits to Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama.
During her time in the Mexican capital, she met with Interior Secretary Alejandro Poiré to discuss issues of aviation security and the fight against organized crime, that agency indicated.
The U.S. homeland security secretary’s intention was to “discuss the United States government’s efforts in facilitating trade and travel, enhancing information sharing and working to ensure a safer, more secure and resilient global supply chain,” the U.S. Government explained in a statement.
Mexico and Central America are facing a wave of violence resulting from struggles among drug cartels that has led to high homicide rates in the region.
The U.S. official arrived in Mexico a few days after President Felipe Calderón unveiled a billboard reading “No more weapons!” at the border with the United States.
Calderón asked the Americans to help halt the violence that Mexico is experiencing by preventing the sale and trafficking of high-powered weapons to Mexican territory.
Between 2009 and 2010, members of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorized the purchase of around 2,000 large-caliber weapons by individuals suspected of ties to Mexican cartels, in order to track their use in a failed operation they called “Fast and Furious.”