Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 2009
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Agence France-Presse


The United States and Mexico are "winning" an often brutal war against
drug cartels that operate across the border separating the two
countries, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday.

"We are not only fighting this fight, but we are winning it,"
Napolitano, a former border state governor, said in prepared remarks
to the Southwest Border Task Force gathered in the border city of El
Paso, Texas.

Her comments came one day after President Barack Obama travelled to
Mexico, throwing his weight behind Mexico's crackdown on violent drug
cartels that control much of the flow of illegal narcotics from South
America to the United States.

Napolitano highlighted a string of drug and weapons seizures as
evidence that the billion-dollar-plus war against the drug cartels was
succeeding, despite a violent push back from gangs who have often
appeared able to outgun and outspend Mexican federal forces.

Since coming to office the Obama administration has acknowledged the
U.S. role in the violence, pledging to stem the flow of weapons into
Mexico and curb demand for drugs in the United States.

"So far this year, we have seized 2.4 million pounds (one million
kilograms) of drugs, more than 95,000 rounds of ammunition, and more
than 500 assault rifles and handguns," Napolitano said.

Warning that further violence was likely, she offered support for the
government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon despite allegations of
military human rights abuses.

"The fighting has resulted in more than 12,000 deaths in Mexico, and
there will, no doubt be more," Napolitano warned.

"We have a strong partner in President Calderon," Napolitano said. "We
are fighting this fight together with the government of Mexico."
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