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|More News from Senator Grassley's Office|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Grassley Press|
|Tuesday, 31 May 2011 13:39|
Feinstein, Grassley Release Senate Caucus on Int'l Narcotics Control Report on Mexico
Senators Urge Congress and Administration to use report as a blueprint for cooperation with Mexico to combat drug trafficking
Washington, DC – May 25, 2011 - U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, today released a report outlining key steps and initiatives to combat Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking organizations and reduce violence in the country.
The report, U.S. and Mexican Responses to Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations, is endorsed by all seven Members of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control and makes several recommendations for the U.S. government. The report synthesizes information gathered through a country visit, briefings, interviews, and a review of documents from both government and non-government subject matter experts.
“The United States provides counternarcotics assistance throughout the world, but our security partnership with Mexico is unique since we share a 1,969 mile border,” said Senator Feinstein.
“What happens in Mexico has a deep impact on the United States and the reciprocal is also true. Today, U.S. – Mexico ties are stronger than ever, and we must take advantage of this historic moment by continuing to deepen our security partnership with Mexico,” continued Feinstein. “I urge my colleagues in Congress and members of the Obama Administration to read this report and use it as a blueprint for future cooperation with Mexico to combat drug trafficking.”
“The drug trade has long been associated with violence, but the recent escalation has been unprecedented. Stopping this violence will take cooperation from those of us on both sides of the border,” Senator Grassley said. "And, while more work needs to be done in this area, this report can be a guide as we move forward and work to curb the drug trade and the violence associated with it.”
Findings and recommendations of the report include:
Stored value is not subject to any cross-border reporting requirements. This means that an individual crossing from the United States into Mexico with thousands of dollars on pre-paid cards is not required to declare these cards at the border.
The U.S. government has provided vital security assistance to Mexico, including 11 helicopters – eight Bell 412 helicopters for the Mexican military and three Blackhawk helicopters for the country’s federal police. Six more Blackhawk helicopters are still in the pipeline.
According to data from the Mexican government, 1.55 percent of suspected crimes in Mexico result in convictions. By comparison, the U.S. federal courts logged a 90.3 percent conviction rate in FY 2008.
The report recommends that judicial sector training be proactively offered by the United States through the Mérida Initiative to each Mexican state that requests it. This should include specific training on oral trial topics, such as evidence, opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination and objections.
The entire report can be found here: U.S. and Mexican Responses to Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations
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