News / Americas

    Experts Say US and Mexico Must Work Together to Battle Mexican Drug Cartels

    Mexican security forces after an attack by a drug cartel
    Mexican security forces after an attack by a drug cartel
    Laurel Bowman

    A deadly car bomb last week, the first of its kind, suggests that Mexico's drug cartels are growing increasingly bold and sophisticated.  As illegal drugs and people cross the US-Mexican border into the United States, weapons and possibly billions of dollars in cash flow south.  Speaking in Washington Tuesday, experts  said fixes will have to be multi-faceted and long-term.  

    A TV station caught on tape what was a first in Mexico's fight against drugs - a car bomb targeting police  detonated in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

    At least three were killed in what's being viewed as an escalation in Mexico's already raging drug war.

    U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley:

    "Unfortunately, these drug cartels, they have enormous amount of resources at their disposal," said  P.J. Crowley. "They can buy any kind of capability they want.  But we are determined, working with Mexico, to do everything in our power to reduce this violence."

    In Washington Tuesday, experts gathered to discuss steps the United States and Mexico should take moving forward.

    Matt Bennett is Vice President of Third Way, a self-described moderate think tank. It hosted the event.

    "It is not just a Mexican problem," said Matt Bennett. "Guns and money are flowing from the United States south and fueling this problem and drugs are traveling north…"

    "It's a mutual responsibility between the U.S. and Mexico," said Henry Cuellar. "We cannot let Mexico fail."

    Congressman Henry Cuellar says tightening the border alone won't do the trick.  

    The U.S. has to help Mexico develop its police force, justice system, and courts. It's hard to catch drug traffickers in Mexico, Cuellar says, and once they are caught …

    "...to prosecute someone, at least when I was down there, was less than a 2 percent chance," he said.

    That's compared to a prosecution rate in the high 90s in the U.S., he says.  

    "Once again I want to warn everybody, especially in Mexico, if you want to come to America through Maricopa County, we are going to have enough fire power to react to any assaults on our deputy sheriffs," said Sheriff Arpaio.

    That's Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona.  Last week, while conducting his 17th immigration sweep, he brought out his "big gun," a machine gun.  He said his deputies needed it for protection while patrolling desolate areas where drug and immigrant smugglers have been spotted.

    But Mexico's Ambassador to Washington, Arturo Sarukhan, says guns bought in states like Arizona are fueling the drug trade.  

    He is calling on the U.S. to help plug the flow.

    "Mexico has very stringent gun laws," said Ambassador Sarukhan. "You can't walk into a store and buy a gun like you can in this country."

    The United States has announced it will send 1200 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.  They will help keep a look-out for illegal border crossers and smugglers and assist with criminal investigations.

    Mexico's drug violence has killed nearly 25,000 people since 2006, when Mexico's president launched an anti-drug offensive.

    You May Like

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Mali, a Way Station for Syrians Headed to Europe

    Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Canadian Officials Say Wildfire Conditions 'Extreme'

    Alberta government declares state of emergency, orders residents to evacuate communities of Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Mackenzie County and Fort McMurray First Nation, an aboriginal reservation

    Smog Stays Bad; Mexico City Extends Traffic Cutback

    40 percent of cars and trucks are being ordered to stay off the streets Thursday

    US-Led Tourism Boom Has Cuba Hustling to Keep Up

    Influx of visitors has pushed capacity to the limit, prompting hotels to sharply increase prices

    Brazilian Senator Backs Impeachment Trial for Rousseff

    Senator Antonio Anastasia tells panel of lawmakers that charges against president are serious enough to remove her from office

    Poll: Approval of Venezuelan Leader Drops as Crisis Bites

    Just over one in four Venezuelans approves of President Nicolas Maduro's governance as crippling economic problems weigh on leftist leader

    Brazil Lawmakers Propose Bill to Shield WhatsApp

    Draft law forbids authorities from blocking popular messaging applications, just two days after judicial order left 100 million Brazilians without access to platform