U.S. government officials including Secretary Janet Napolitano today joined Mexican Secretary of Finance Ernesto Cordero Arroyo to host the first-ever graduation of Mexican customs officials from a 10-week, U.S. led investigator training course.
“Our efforts to crack down on criminal organizations and others who threaten the safety of our citizens and our economy require close cooperation between the United States and Mexico,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Today’s historic graduation of Mexican customs officials from this U.S.-led investigator training course reflects the unprecedented collaboration between our two nations to better combat transnational crime while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.” “A well-functioning border is an opportunity for growth—it opens doors to commercial exchange, peace, progress and human development,” said Secretary Cordero.
Twenty-four men and women from Mexico participated in the inaugural session of the Mexican customs investigator training conducted by U.S. immigration agents. The course included coursework in both Mexican and U.S. customs law, as well as training in a wide variety of investigative techniques, officer safety tactics, and ethics—helping to provide the graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat cross-border crime, including money laundering, customs offenses and weapons and drug trafficking, in close coordination with ICE special agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
The United States has appropriated $1.4 billion in aid for Mexico through an initiative that includes resources to provide training and equipment to support law enforcement operations.