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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue at the State Department


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Delivered

Good afternoon.

Last year, Secretary Blinken, Secretary Mayorkas, and I traveled to Mexico City to meet with our partners and colleagues in the Mexican government. Together, our two countries launched the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework.

Today, we had the opportunity to reflect on the work we have done over the past year and to share our commitment to addressing the shared security challenges facing both of our countries.

The first topic we covered during our dialogue discussions today was also the first goal we outlined in our framework last year: to protect our people. That goal is the foundation of our partnership and the thread that runs through all of our work.

As part of that effort, the Justice Department is working to meet the crisis of substance abuse within our own borders, with a particular focus on fentanyl. We are providing resources to help communities with prevention, harm-reduction, treatment, and recovery services.

Our second goal, to prevent transborder crime, is an essential element of both of our countries’ national security.

Our agents and prosecutors are working to dismantle the dangerous cartels that bring deadly fentanyl into our communities in both countries. And we are working to disrupt both the supply and the demand of fentanyl. Just last month, the DEA concluded a four-month operation that resulted in the removal of 36 million lethal doses of fentanyl from American communities.

To strengthen our efforts to combat human smuggling and trafficking groups, the Department launched Joint Task Force Alpha last year.

And to crack down on the criminal firearms-trafficking pipelines that flood communities in both of our countries with illegal guns, the Department has set up cross-jurisdictional strike forces across the United States to disrupt these networks from start to finish.

We have instructed our prosecutors and law enforcement agents to prioritize prosecutions of those who are responsible for the greatest violence, including criminal gun traffickers. And we have worked to enhance cooperation and bilateral information sharing on illegal firearms investigations.

Finally, our third goal, to pursue criminal networks – particularly drug cartels – is an area of intense focus and prosecutorial resources for the Justice Department.

A critical aspect of our work is our joint efforts to shut down illicit financial networks, which we know are the lifeblood of these criminal organizations.

We will continue to work closely with our partners in Mexico to investigate, arrest, extradite, and prosecute individual members of dangerous transnational criminal organizations as well.

On behalf of the Justice Department, our prosecutors, and each of our law enforcement components, I want to thank the Government of Mexico for their continued partnership on all of these fronts.

And I look forward to our work together in the coming years.

Updated October 13, 2022