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US, Mexico vow to combat drug, arms trafficking, migrant exploitation

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BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference with Colombian President Gustavo Petro (not seen) following talks on Blinken's first official visit to South America at Casa de Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia on October 03, 2022. (Juancho Torres - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 14, 2022 - 02:45 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US and Mexico vowed to fight drug and arms trafficking as well as the exploitation of migrants after they completed a second high-level security dialogue Thursday.

“We’ve made significant progress reflected in unprecedented investments, legislation, law enforcement action, and these efforts have already made a tangible difference in the lives of Mexicans and Americans,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a news conference with his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard.

“Today’s discussion focused on the areas where we need to make even more progress, such as redoubling our efforts to combat the threat of fentanyl production and trafficking, arms trafficking and the exploitation of migrants,” he said.

The talks came one month after US-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue in Mexico City, and Blinken said the dialogues reflect shared priorities set up by the Mexican and US presidents.

“And both focus on delivering on issues that have a tangible impact on the lives of our people, such as strengthening our competitiveness in the 21st century economy, making our communities safe for all the residents dismantling transnational criminal organizations,” said Blinken.

The two nations share challenges and threats, including drug and arms trafficking, migrant smuggling and threats posed by drug cartels.

Ebrard hailed the cooperation between the US and Mexico, saying the two nations are the only ones that have a framework with a plan of action and periodic evaluations in every area to protect their societies.

“It is thanks to the work between the US and Mexico that 32 million weapons did not end up causing lethal wounds in our countries,” said the Mexican diplomat. “These were secured before they continue killing people.”

He said 17 million rounds and ammunition, tons of chemical substances, methamphetamines and 94 tons of cocaine were seized through US-Mexico cooperation.

“So from our point of view, it is evident that the bicentennial framework is working. There is still a way to go. This doesn’t mean that everything has been solved,” added Ebrard.

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