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Media 030215 The White House

Monday, March 2, 2015

 

Statement of Principles on Security Cooperation between the Governments of the United States and Mexico

 

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

The governments of the United States and Mexico reaffirm the strategic nature of the bilateral relationship and underscore their commitment to improving the quality of life for citizens of both countries through a broad range of cooperation.  A safer region will contribute to stronger development and competitiveness in North America.

Transnational organized crime poses a significant and growing threat to national and international security, with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability.  Criminal networks are diversifying their activities, creating new threats to governance, stability, and security. 

As neighbors, partners, and friends, we reaffirm our commitment to work together to address root causes and to combat the negative effects of transnational crime. Bilateral cooperation is an essential tool to confront such challenges and to complement the domestic efforts each country develops with its own resources.

We intend to continue to address transnational crimes at both the strategic and operational levels, including through efforts to combat illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons, trafficking in persons, human smuggling, and illicit financial flows that fuel criminality. 

We intend to build on our successful joint efforts to reduce transnational violence and criminal activity along our shared border.  We intend to continue binational efforts to strengthen border security to promote legitimate trade and travel and safe communities, combat criminal activity, and remain alert to the threat of terrorism, including by focusing new capacity-building as well as regional and border cooperation efforts.

This high level commitment provides a renewed strategic framework for coordination on security and justice issues, based on the principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust, and respect for sovereignty, jurisdiction and laws, from which both countries affirm on the following common points:

1.       The Governments of the United States and Mexico remain committed to joint bilateral actions to prevent and combat criminal activity and transnational crime, and other threats. 

2.       We have reviewed our strategic cooperation and adjusted programs to match our government’s priorities.  In this context, threats must be addressed in a comprehensive and balanced way, focusing on the full spectrum of criminal activity, on the causes of crime, and its effect on our citizens. 

3.       In all efforts, we intend to seek to safeguard the full respect for human rights for all individuals and strengthen the rule of law, including the exchange of best practices to enhance transparency and accountability.

4.       Our governments intend to continue to strengthen the exchange of information among our law enforcement, security and border management agencies in order to improve the efficiency of their work, enhance bilateral cooperation, and address and prevent the shared threat of transnational crime.

5.       The federal governments of the United States and Mexico recognize the fundamental role of their respective executive, legislative, and judicial powers in efforts to reduce violence and ensure peace in their societies.

6.       Likewise, our two federal governments recognize the important roles that state and local authorities and civil society play within the security cooperation framework, as well as the role of all members of civil society.

7.       We intend to continue collaboration on the Merida Initiative and the four pillars, based on priorities agreed by both governments: violence prevention, support to the new justice system, cooperation at state level, building institutional capacities and border cooperation.  

8.       We recognize the importance of Mexico’s ongoing efforts to implement judicial reforms and enhance the capability of law enforcement and justice-sector institutions.  

9.       We remain committed to the substantial achievements made in managing our border through improving infrastructure, facilitating legitimate trade and travel, and strengthening security cooperation on our in border environments.

10.   Consistent with our commitment to foster a safe border region, responsible authorities will continue to work jointly to prevent incidents of violence, increase citizen security, and foster an environment that is conducive to legitimate trade and travel.

11.   Recognizing the threat to both nations posed by human smuggling networks and the flows of third country nationals into and throughout North America, our governments intend to address these threats through information and intelligence sharing, secure and orderly flow of people and coordinated actions to dismantle these illicit networks

12.   We intend to continue working together to develop programs to help strengthen the social fabric, prevent substance abuse, and rehabilitation for the victims of drugs in both our societies. We concur on the importance of reducing drug consumption to reduce violence in our communities. This is a public health problem that we will not solve only through law enforcement.

13.   Weapons trafficking is a serious crime which we must prevent and firmly combat. Both countries recognize the risk that weapons trafficking poses, and we intend to strengthen our efforts to implement commitments under the existing frameworks.

14.   Cyber security represents a new area of opportunity for bilateral cooperation, for increasing collaboration and information exchange.

15.   We recognize the importance of ongoing efforts to combat the illicit finance networks of transnational criminal organizations and other illicit actors and we intend to continue to enhance bilateral cooperation to target these networks.

16.   Moreover, recognizing that the challenge extends beyond the borders of the United States and Mexico, we intend to engage with other regional allies in our efforts to address transnational criminality and promote activities to extend the rule of law and enhance economic opportunities.

17.   The Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and the State Department intend to continue bilateral cooperation. The Government of Mexico intends to continue implementing its coordination mechanisms under the leadership of the Secretary of Governance.

18.   To promote better understanding and public support for our continued cooperation, we will coordinate our public outreach and messaging.

Our success is contingent on the strengthening of our strategic partnership and the continued deepening and improvement of our cooperation.  We are determined to carry on a spirit of collaboration that promotes broader and deeper understanding between the United States and Mexico and the region.

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Press release, Feb. 27, 2015, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, Washington, D.C.

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