Skip to comments.Obama to help Mexico cut drug violence
Posted on 01/13/2009 11:00:00 AM PST by SwinneySwitch
WASHINGTON President-elect Barack Obama promised visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderón during a 90-minute summit Monday that the incoming administration would take stronger action to stem the flow of assault-style weapons smuggled from Texas to drug lords in Mexico.
Obama, outlining his plans for U.S.-Mexico relations in detail for the first time, vowed to find ways to collaborate more effectively with Mexico to reduce drug-related violence, including weapons bought in U.S. cities used to cut down Mexican troops and police, said his press secretary, Robert Gibbs.
Obama applauded the steps taken by Calderón to improve security in Mexico, Gibbs said, including that country's widening use of assistance provided under Washington's $1.4 billion Merida Initiative.
Obama told Calderón that he would ask his designated Homeland Security secretary, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, to lead an effort to increase information-sharing between law enforcement officers on both sides of the border.
Calderón launched the war on Mexico's multibillion-dollar drug syndicates after taking office in December 2006, sending about 30,000 soldiers and quasi-military police into lawless areas.
But the crackdown has fueled unprecedented bloodshed as drug gangs swelled their arsenals with weapons bought in Texas and other states by intermediaries. Drug gang violence killed some 5,400 people in Mexico last year, about double the number in 2007, including hundreds of Mexican security forces.
That Obama and his advisers agreed to the meeting with Calderón amid a busy transition schedule reflected Washington's mounting concerns over the violence, said Jorge Castañeda, who served as foreign minister under Mexican President Vicente Fox and is a leading expert on U.S.-Mexico relations.
They sense that the situation is getting a little out of control, Castañeda said of American officials. Mexican officials estimated that 90 percent of the guns smuggled into their country come across the U.S. border and have been complaining loudly for years about the unimpeded flow of weapons.
The smuggled arms, purchased by middlemen in gun shops in Texas and other border states, include a number of assault rifles easily converted to fire fully automatic.
A recent Mexican government report estimated weapons-smuggling is a $22 million-a-year business.
Moments after Obama and Calderón met, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., filed a bill designed to reduce gun smuggling into Mexico. The bill would provide $30 million over two years to expand the Justice Department's Project Gunrunner Initiative, which targets gun-smuggling networks.
The increasing violence in Mexico is now a U.S. national security issue, Hutchison said.
A similar version of the bill was filed in the House by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.
Obama, who met with the Mexican leader at the Mexican Cultural Institute here, said he believed the strong U.S.-Mexico relationship can be even stronger with the changes he discussed.
Calderón, addressing reporters in Spanish, said, I'm sure this is the start of a very tight and constructive relationship.
Calderón will meet with President George W. Bush today. Bush and Calderón developed the Merida Initiative in 2007 to provide Mexico with U.S. military equipment, training and other assistance over three years to help combat the drug gang violence.
The Bush administration has started to transfer some of the first $400 million worth of equipment under the initiative, including bulletproof vests, communications equipment, eight helicopters and four maritime patrol aircraft.
Express-News Staff Writer Gary Martin contributed to this report.
That Zero is so gosh darn helpful!!!
All he has to do is outlaw the sale of guns.......right? How else will he control it?
First of all, we need to tone down the hateful rhetoric that has sprung up around the cross-border arms traffic issue. These are not “illegal guns”, they are “undocumented self-defense tools”. The Mexican economy has a very real demand for American guns. American guns are doing jobs Mexican guns won’t do. What Mexico needs is comprehensive gun reform, to bring its laws into balance with its own economic realities.
“All he has to do is outlaw the sale of guns.......right? How else will he control it?”
Obama (The Candy Man) will make sure everyone gets their illegal drugs without getting hurt.
He will wave his omnipotent hand, say the magic words and Presto the MSM will declare the problem solved and we will never hear of it again.
Note that they only want to stop the violence...not the drugs.
Don’t forget the welfare money, early education and abortion rights (birth control)
So let's see here; the solution to Mexico's drug violence is - Gun Control in the US! Wow, I never would have guessed it. So assault weapons from the US are causing the drug war in Mexico. Gee, I thought it was the Mexican drug lords that were the problem. How silly of me.
One serious note. I don't actually know if the majority of the arms used by the cartels come from Texas, and I doubt that Obama knows either, but I would suspect that someone like Chavez has a vested interest in making sure that the cartels have plenty of Venezuelan AK47’s or whatever weapons they need. Shutting down rifle sales in TX will just make it easier for the Mexican drug war to spill over the US border, without fear of reprisal.
Apologies to Louie and Rick.
If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.
0be probably thought they were talking about drug violins.
“Calderón launched the war on Mexico’s multibillion-dollar drug syndicates after taking office in December 2006, sending about 30,000 soldiers and quasi-military police into lawless areas.”
“Quasi-military’.....LOL! Right....Zetas and drug lord controlled military! How ‘bout those Mexican Military who are constantly crossing our border and harrassing our agents, Mr. Obama?
AHH, do ya think he could start here first?
The Mexicans should build a fence and patrol it.
He’ll give them all a Billion dollar bail-out to be nice.
“The smuggled arms, purchased by middlemen in gun shops in Texas and other border states, include a number of assault rifles easily converted to fire fully automatic.”
I dare them to name one semi-auto bought in the U.S. that is “easily converted” to a full-auto.
“So let’s see here; the solution to Mexico’s drug violence is - Gun Control in the US! Wow, I never would have guessed it. So assault weapons from the US are causing the drug war in Mexico. Gee, I thought it was the Mexican drug lords that were the problem. How silly of me.”
You know, if La Raza and the other ‘hispanic’ groups really cared about those people, they’d be hauling guns to the peace loving populace to protect themselves. Mexico’s leaders have proven they will not protect their people, the people better learn quick they and only they can change Mexico and the various 3rd world thuggeries south of our border.
MEXICO NEEDS THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
I would like to see the number of firearms, the make and model, and serial numbers that the Mexican Government has captured that actually have come from the U.S. and compare that with the number and types of the ones from other sources.
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