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U.S., Mexico vow to increase efforts to fight drug cartels

July 9, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
U.S., Mexico vow to increase efforts to fight drug cartels

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The U.S. and Mexico are attempting to establish closer ties to combat firearms trafficking and organized crime, Mexico’s interior minister announced on Friday, as he and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged to increase efforts to fight drug cartels.

“We’re looking at new forms of cooperation on issues like arms trafficking … and combating organizations dedicated to drug trafficking,” Interior Minister Osorio Chong said at a press conference.

According to Reuters, Osorio Chong did not reveal details as he spoke with Kelly, who was coming to the conclusion of a three-day trip to Mexico.

Kelly, who traveled to one of Mexico’s most violent regions to discuss the military’s efforts to fight drug cartels and observe opium poppy eradication, said the two parties worked to strengthen collective security cooperation.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly shakes hands with Mexico’s Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong after delivering a joint message at the Secretary of Interior Building in Mexico City, Mexico, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

“We are working to defeat the scourge of drugs, with emphasis on the heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl that is flooding the hemisphere and resulting in deaths in our countries,” Kelly stated.

U.S. overdoses from opiates including fentanyl and heroin have increased vastly in the last few years, putting the issue at the forefront in efforts to strengthen cooperation on security issues between Mexico and the U.S.

Kelly said President Trump proposed to create “stronger, durable bonds” between the two countries, which have had some disagreement on areas of policy under Trump, particularly the President’s plan to construct a wall along the border.

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