Aug 19, 2011

U.S.-Mexico Relations: Deputy Secretary of State Roundtable With Mexican Media

Transcript of press conference held by William J. Burns, newly appointed Deputy Secretary of State, at the U.S. Embassy, Mexico City, Mexico, August 16, 2011. Many of the Mexican press´questions were about the recent New York Times revelation of increased U.S. government personnel in Mexico, the Fast and Furious scandal and the newly announced shift in the Merida Initiative to training state and municipal police forces. 

U.S. Department of State: We also spoke about our efforts to provide security for citizens and communities on both sides of the border through the Merida Initiative. We share the responsibility to counter violence fueled by drugs. As Americans, we have to be honest about that responsibility and about the ways in which our drug consumption and the illicit flow of money and weapons across our southern border contributes to the enormous challenge that both of us face. We also have to be honest about the fact that neither of us can solve this problem alone. We have to work together. In the United States we are working to reduce the demand for drugs and halt the illicit flow of money and arms, and across Mexico we are supporting Mexican efforts to stem the flow of potential recruits for the cartels by giving young people constructive legal alternatives to activities that only devastate their communities.

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