Mexico and the United States reached an agreement on Thursday to strengthen the High Level Security Group (Ganseg) with the aim of combating organized crime and crime that operates across borders, reported the Mexican government.
The agreement was reached in a bilateral meeting held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico during the visit of U.S. Attorney General William Barr, said the Mexican agency in a joint bulletin with the Secretariat of Public Safety and Protection, and the Navy.
The Mexican Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard; Security and Citizen Protection, Alfonso Durazo, and the Navy, José Rafael Ojeda, participated in the meeting. Attorney General Barr and Ambassador Christopher Landau led the U.S. delegation.
“At the meeting, the officials exchanged points of view and discussed, in a cordial and respectful manner, the security priorities for both parties,” the statement said.
Among other points, they discussed cooperation against arms trafficking, money laundering and international drug trafficking, and how to tackle transnational crime together.
They agreed to strengthen Ganseg, which was integrated on August 27th, and that both governments will follow up on the results of the strengthened cooperation on security through the High-Level Group itself.
They had previously held a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in which the Secretary of National Defence, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, also participated.
At that meeting, held at the National Palace, López Obrador offered Barr a cooperative relationship to address security issues, but asked that the U.S. authorities not intervene in Mexico.
“Good meeting with U.S. Attorney General William Barr. As a lawyer, he understands that our Constitution obliges us to adhere to the principles of development cooperation and non-intervention in foreign policy. That way we can always work together,” the president told Twitter.
Before the meeting, in his morning press conference, López Obrador had already pointed out that cooperation and respect with the United States would be the axes of the meeting.
For weeks now, both governments have been maintaining contacts to address arms trafficking from the United States to Mexico, but the relationship was complicated by the killing of nine members of a binational Mormon community in early November in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.
This Wednesday, U.S. media announced that President Donald Trump will meet with his advisors on Friday to review the possible classification of cartels as terrorist organizations after the Sonora massacre.
On Tuesday, Chancellor Ebrard said that the fight against drug trafficking and consumption is a common task of Mexico and the United States and that both countries have to share the burden and commitments generated by this problem.