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Mexico, US meet to discuss human rights, organized crime

Mexico City, Mexico — Secretaries of Mexico and the US have sat down to discuss issues including human rights and organized crime.

The Secretary of the Interior, Alfonso Navarrete Prida said that during his meeting with the Secretary of National Security of the United States, Kirstjen Nielsen, they addressed issues such as arms trafficking, fighting organized crime and respect for the human rights of migrants.

In a message to the media the US official said that they also stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the area of civil protection.

Mexico’s Navarrete Prida explained that efforts will be made to fine-tune the mechanisms and instruments that will allow for a more solid and effective coordination on the issue of asylum and refuge.

He also said that border security is something that worries Mexico a lot, adding that weapons entering the country need to be reduced in a gradual, but forceful way since high levels of violence occur due to the amount of guns in the country.

Navarrete Prida highlighted the understanding and support of the US government to address the entry of weapons as a border security issue “which has nothing to do with sovereign decisions on the treatment given to weapons or possession or property in our various societies.”

He considered that in the issue of border security, it will be necessary to be much more careful “to stop the entry to Mexico and reduce gradually but forcefully the high levels of violence that can be caused by the misuse of the weapons that enter Mexican territory.”

In turn, US Kirstjen Nielsen indicated that the United States government and the Department of Homeland Security in particular are committed to a strong and healthy relationship with Mexico.

“We have a lot to discuss. We have many areas of common interests and today we had the opportunity to talk about transnational criminal organizations, opioids, border security, facilitation of travel and the exchange of legal goods.”

She also said they discussed how the US can better prevent arms and cash from reaching Mexico.

Mexico, she said, is one of the most important business partners of the American Union and the United States is a very important commercial partner for Mexico. The alliance, Nielsen emphasized, is important for both countries, not just for security and prosperity.

“We are very anxious to engage in this new relationship and start from the relationship that those who preceded left us.”

On a visit to Mexico City in August 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “No one wins in either country when human smugglers and drug traffickers prey on innocent people, when cartels commit acts of violence, when illegal weapons and cash flow from the United States into Mexico.”

According to a study by the University of San Diego, an average of 253,000 firearms cross the US border into Mexico each year. In February, two American men were arrested in Mexico for running illegal weapons.