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Mexico and the U.S. agree to strengthen border security against drugs and arms after locating 200 tunnels

Mexico City, Mexico — The Government of Mexico says it will work with the U.S., investing $4.2 billion to strengthen border security. The announcement was made by Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

Ebrard says the decision was the product of the Bicentennial Agreement for security cooperation, which includes 13 projects in Mexico. The Mexican government will invest the $4.2 billion in advanced technology and infrastructure to reinforce the common border with the U.S. against drugs and arms.

He explained that now, the level of security at the border is unequal on each side, and that Mexico will make the investment in technology to strengthen security and “be more effective on the border against drugs and weapons,” he said.

According to Ken Salazar, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, there is talk in the U.S. for the first time that acknowledges “the arms problem is ours too, something that was not accepted before which is why today, we are working together with the Mexican government,” he said.

“There are many projects where the two presidents (Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador) intend to create a time of transformation on the border between Mexico and the United States, and part of that is to ensure that it is a place where people can walk from one place to another safely and where trade continues in a better way,” he said.

Salazar estimated that along the common border between the two countries, there are more than 200 drug trafficking tunnels used to cross from one country to the other.

Salazar provided the figures during the Tijuana, Baja California meeting last week, where he said there is joint work being done to eradicate the tunnels.

“In this area, there are over 200 tunnels along the border. Working with the Mexican government we have very good collaboration in trying to eradicate these tunnels that should not be there because that is where a lot of crime happens, a lot of suffering that we see and this must stop,” he told the media.

On the U.S. side, six projects have been agreed upon that will see the addition of advanced technology to prevent arms trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico and drugs such as fentanyl from Mexico into the U.S.

Todd D. Robinson, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, explained that one of the priorities of the agreement will be to stop arms trafficking to Mexico. In addition, they will focus on preventing the entry of drugs into the US. The two governments will work together to solidify “what had not been done before,” he said.

Last week, Ebrard announced 13 agreed upon projects between the U.S. and Mexico that will see security strengthened and border residents benefit.