National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy
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The United States, at the local, state, tribal, and Federal levels, has made a concerted effort to enhance, expand, and codify multiple measures designed to address the serious threats posed by illicit drug trafficking across the Southwest border andMoreThe United States, at the local, state, tribal, and Federal levels, has made a concerted effort to enhance, expand, and codify multiple measures designed to address the serious threats posed by illicit drug trafficking across the Southwest border and violence in Mexico. Despite many successes, improved cooperation, coordination, unity of effort, and information sharing, illicit drug trafficking continues to be a multi-faceted threat to our national security which requires additional focus and effort. Transnational criminal organizations based in Mexico with world-wide international connections continue to dominate the illegal drug supply chain and are continuing to expand their illegal activities throughout the UnitedStates. Indeed, 90 to 95 percent of all cocaine that enters the United States continues to pass through the Mexico/Central America corridor from the cocaine source countries further south. Mexico remains the primary foreign source of marijuana and methamphetamine destined for U.S. markets and is also a source and transit country for heroin. The same organizations that traffic in drugs also control the south-bound flow of drug-related bulk currency and illegal weapons. The smuggling and illegal export of weapons from the United States into Mexico is a threat to the overall safety and security of both countries and continues to fuel violence along the Southwest border and in the interior of Mexico. Indeed, weapons smuggled into Mexico often end up in the hands of the Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) or other smuggling organizations where they can be employed against law enforcement officers and citizens in either country. On its northern border with the United States, Mexico experienced a dramatic surge in border crime and violence in recent years due to intense competition between Mexican TCOs that employ predatory tactics to realize their profits.The U.S. Government continues to respond to the challenges posed by transnational criminal organizations through a variety of coordinated activities, both at the operational and national policy levels. The U.S.–Mexico bilateral relationship continues to grow based on increasingly strong, multi-layered institutional ties. The commitment of both governments to improve citizen security in each country is underscored by the Merida Initiative, an unprecedented partnership between the United States andMexico to fight organized crime and associated violence while furthering respect for human rights and the rule of law. Based on principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust, and respect for sovereign independence,the two countries’ efforts have built confidence that continues to transform and strengthen the bilateral relationship in 2013 and beyond.