Treasury targets Sinaloa Cartel financial and air cargo networks north Charleston, S.C. - U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton today joined Mexican Secretary of Finance Ernesto Cordero Arroyo and Tax Administration Service and Customs Director Alfredo Gutierrez Ortiz-Mena to host the first-ever graduation of Mexican customs officials from a 10-week, ICE-led investigator training course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in North Charleston, S.C.
“Our efforts to crack down on criminal organizations and others who threaten the safety of our citizens and our economy require close cooperation between the United States and Mexico,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Today’s historic graduation of Mexican customs officials from this U.S.-led investigator training course reflects the unprecedented collaboration between our two nations to better combat transnational crime while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”
Twenty-four men and women from Mexico’s Tax Administration Service and Customs participated in the inaugural session of the Mexican customs investigator training conducted by ICE agents.
The course included coursework in both Mexican and U.S. customs law, as well as training in a wide variety of investigative techniques, officer safety tactics, and ethics—helping to provide the graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat cross-border crime, including money laundering, customs offenses and weapons and drug trafficking, in close coordination with ICE special agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
Over the past year, Secretary Napolitano and her Mexican counterparts have engaged in an unprecedented level of cooperation, signing a number of bilateral agreements and declarations to bolster cooperation in the areas of enforcement, information and intelligence sharing, joint operations and trade facilitation along the Southwest border. DHS has doubled the number of law enforcement personnel assigned to DHS’s Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST), multi-agency teams that collaborate to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations which pose significant threats to border security and coordinate intelligence sharing on both sides of the border. The formation of the first-ever Mexico-based BEST was announced by Secretary Napolitano in August of 2009.
The Mexican customs investigator training course is part of the Merida Initiative, a multiyear Department of State-led program designed to provide assistance to Mexico and Central America in the form of capacity building, training and equipment to better equip law enforcement agencies to complete their missions. The United States has appropriated $1.4 billion in aid for Mexico through the initiative —including resources to provide training and equipment to support law enforcement operations.
For more information on DHS’s border security efforts, please visit www.dhs.gov.
ACCIONA Energy, a company founded in 1850 in Spain with actual global presence was selected for the construction and operation of three wind parks in Oaxaca State (Mexico). The 450 million euro (more than US$600) deal involves three parks totaling 306 MW. Construction work will get under way in 2010 and the parks are expected to come into operation in 2011. The deal accounts for 12.7% of the wind power implementation objective to 2013 envisaged in ACCIONA ’s Strategic Plan.
The Good News Department is a faux news section, presented in newsbrief format, of three short topics blending Mexican and U.S. current events and culture. Contributor to SolutionsAbroad and author of this section is Ed Tasca, a U.S. expat currently residing in the Lake Chapala area who provides reflections on life as a retiree in Mexico. Check out the News section of SolutionsAbroad for his latest humorous commentary.