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Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in Joint Press Conference with Mexican Attorney General Medina Mora

Mexico City
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 12:10 PM MST

I think it is appropriate that my first trip abroad as Attorney General would be to Mexico to meet with Attorney General Medina Mora. The law enforcement relationship between the United States and Mexico is close, important, and productive. I want it to remain that way during my tenure as Attorney General of the United States.

Over the past year in particular, we have had a tremendous amount of cooperation on important issues, including extraditions and joint operations and training of our officers on both sides. We have succeeded in stopping or disrupting substantial criminal enterprises and drug cartels, and we have laid the groundwork for even more success in the future.

I know that Attorney General Medina Mora and I share a commitment to strengthening this relationship, and over the past couple of days we have discussed important ways to do that.

I reiterated for the Attorney General, as I do now, that the United States is committed to addressing the flow of illegal guns into Mexico. We recognize that the control of our border is an important national security priority for both our governments, and that this is a two-way street.

We discussed the success of Project Gunrunner, the Justice Department's ongoing initiative aimed at interrupting the illegal shipment of firearms into Mexico, and reducing gun-related violence on both sides of the border. I indicated we'd also be deploying additional resources to arrest and prosecute violent criminals, and to trace the firearms—the "tools of the trade"—used by criminal gangs in Mexico and the United States.

These are important measures that will help make all of our citizens safer. Both of our countries have seen too much violence committed by criminals who exploit our border. We know that neither of us can solve this problem alone, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.

Thank you.