NPT DC: Reyes comments on President Obama’s Drug War strategy
From the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes:
REYES LAUDS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY TO HELP COMBAT DRUG-RELATED VIOLENCE IN MEXICO AND ENHANCE BORDER SECURITY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (TX-16), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement in response to the announcement by Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinburg, and Deputy Attorney General David Ogden on the Administration’s comprehensive strategy to address drug-related violence in Mexico and enhance border security:
“Today, the Administration announced a comprehensive border security policy to significantly increase the level of federal resources dedicated to combating drug-related crime in the border region. This new strategy is long overdue, and I applaud President Barack Obama and his Administration for taking these important steps to complement President Felipe Calderon’s courageous efforts to dismantle Mexico’s drug cartels, whose ruthless acts of violence have claimed nearly 2,000 lives since January 2008 in Ciudad Juarez alone.
“We must step up our efforts along the southern border to crackdown on the flow of weapons and money that are smuggled from United States into Mexico. With over 90 percent of the weapons seized in Mexico originating from the United States, we share responsibility in the violence that has permeated throughout Mexico. The Administration’s plans to relocate 100 ATF agents to the border, to aggressively pursue criminal investigations of weapons smuggling in the region, is encouraging.
“Today’s announcement is particularly significant for the El Paso-Juarez region. The FBI is establishing a new Southwest Intelligence Group (SWIG) that will be based out of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) to serve as a clearinghouse of all FBI activities involving Mexico. The DEA is also forming an additional Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) in El Paso to specifically target Mexican methamphetamine trafficking operations in the border region. These measures will also target the activities of criminal gangs operating in the United States.
“While this comprehensive strategy is a significant response to the drug-related violence on Mexico’s northern border, we still have much work to do. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to increase support for President Calderon’s efforts to dismantle the drug cartels through the Merida Initiative. In the near future, I will join House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman on a Congressional Delegation to Mexico to meet with President Calderon to discuss ongoing efforts to help bring stability to Mexico’s northern border region and enhance the rule of law.”