Individuals in Mexico who produce methamphetamine will now be targeted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Government of Mexico, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart announced last week.
The agreement between the Mexican Government and DEA was memorialized in the signing of a new memorandum of cooperation (MOC).
“With the majority of methamphetamine in the United States being produced by Mexican drug organizations operating on both sides of the border, it is essential for our two countries to target the problem together,” said Leonhart. “This MOC enhances our intelligence sharing and joint training efforts, and is only possible due to the strong partnership with the Government of Mexico in attacking the meth scourge both countries unfortunately face.”
According to the DEA, the MOC will further establish the joint U.S.-Mexico battle against methamphetamine production. The partnership includes information and intelligence exchange, joint chemical control efforts, and training and resources for dismantling methamphetamine labs.
“Mexico and the United States are linked not only by economic, political and social bonds, but also by security and law enforcement issues,” Mexico Attorney General Marisela Morales said. The signing of the MOC “is an unprecedented event because both of our countries are signing the very first international instrument that will help fight the manufacturing of synthetic drugs in clandestine laboratories,” she said.
Mexico experienced a nearly 1,000 percent increase in seizures of clandestine methamphetamine and precursor chemicals between 2010 and 2011, DEA said, leading to an increase in the number of methamphetamine seizures at the U.S. border. Last year, southwest border seizures of the drug totaled 7,338 kilograms, more than double the amount seized in 2009.
“I am certain that the signing of this document will increase the institutional capacities of all of us to combat this problem more efficiently,” General Commissioner of Mexico’s Federal Police Maribel Cervantes said. “The Mexican Federal Police will make every effort to increase timely coordination and exchange of information to build a common front against the illicit trade of designer drugs.”