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Obama Announces Plan to Combat Drug Trafficking

Today, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S.
Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Director of
National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske released President Obama’s
strategy to stem the flow of illegal drugs and their illicit proceeds
across the Southwest border and reduce associated crime and violence in
the region.

The National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy directs
Federal agencies to increase coordination and information sharing with
State and local law enforcement agencies, intensifies national efforts
to interdict the southbound flow of weapons and bulk currency, and
calls for continued close collaboration with the Government of Mexico
in their efforts against the drug cartels. The strategy is an important
component of the Administration’s national drug control policy and
complements the Administration’s comprehensive efforts to respond to
threats along the border.

“Drug trafficking cartels spread violence and lawlessness throughout
our border region and reach into all of our communities, large and
small,” said Attorney General Holder. “By focusing on increased
cooperation between the U.S. and Mexican governments as well as
enhanced communication within U.S. law enforcement agencies, the National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy we introduce today provides an effective way forward that will crack down on cartels and make our country safer.”

“The President’s counternarcotics strategy will play a critical role
in our efforts to stop cross-border drug trafficking and violence,”
said Secretary Napolitano. “The plan calls for tougher inspections,
more enforcement personnel and close coordination with our partners in
Mexico as we work across Federal, State and local governments to
achieve safety and security in our communities. Together, we will
continue to reduce the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest
border and ensure that those who ignore our laws are prosecuted.”

“Under President Obama’s leadership we have designed a new plan to
pull together the capabilities not only of Federal agencies, but also
state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials,” said Director
Kerlikowske. “This new plan, combined with the dedicated efforts of
the Government of Mexico, creates a unique opportunity to make real
headway on the drug threat. At the same time, we are renewing our
commitment to reduce the demand for drugs in the United States, which
will support this effort. The National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy will improve the safety of communities on the border and throughout our Nation.”

National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy Objectives

  • Enhance intelligence capabilities associated with the Southwest border.
  • Interdict drugs, drug proceeds, and associated instruments of
    violence at the ports of entry, between the ports of entry, and in the
    air and maritime domains along the Southwest border.
  • Ensure the prosecution of all significant drug trafficking, money
    laundering, bulk currency, and weapons smuggling/trafficking cases.
  • Disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.
  • Enhance counterdrug technologies for drug detection and interdiction along the Southwest border.
  • Enhance U.S.-Mexico cooperation regarding joint counterdrug efforts.

The Director of National Drug Control Policy will oversee the
implementation of the strategy, in coordination with the Department of
Homeland Security, Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement, and the
Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General. The
Director will also ensure that the strategy is coordinated with other
border related efforts, including the Merida Initiative, led by the
State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Southwest
border operations plan.

The National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy can be found at


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