The United States and Mexico continue to work together under the auspices of the Merida Initiative to fight transnational criminal organizations. These organizations continue to threaten the security and prosperity of the United States and Mexico.
The first of four key areas of cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico includes disrupting the capacity of criminal organizations that act in both countries by weakening their operational, logistical, and financial capabilities.
Another means of confronting organized crime is to support efforts to strengthen public institutions responsible for combating organized crime. That includes enhancing the observation of the rule of law, human rights, and civil society activity.
Developing a secure and competitive border for the 21st century is critical to disrupting the illicit flow of drugs, weapons, bulk cash and other goods. A secure border would at the same time assure efficient and secure flows of legitimate commerce and travel.
And finally, it is critical for the United States and Mexico to cooperate in building strong and resilient communities in both countries by addressing the root causes of crime and violence. It is important to promote a culture of lawfulness -- reducing illicit drug use, encouraging a broader understanding of the links between drug use and crime and violence, and offering constructive, legal alternatives for the development of young people.
Under the Merida Initiative, over $400 million in equipment, training, and capacity-building programs have been delivered to Mexico, and the U.S. government is committed to deliver an additional five-hundred million dollars by the end of 2011.
The United States and Mexico share a common future. Under the Merida Initiative, both countries are committed to finding long-term solutions to the challenges to the rule of law posed by transnational organized crime. The U.S. and Mexico will meet these challenges through engagement and shared responsibility.