U.S., Mexican Officials Work to Mend Relations!

U.S., Mexican Officials Work to Mend Relations!
Posted by FoM on December 16, 1998 at 16:31:20 PT

Washington D.C. Mexican and U.S. officials said Wednesday that they are making progress toward mending damage in their relations stemming from a covert U.S. money laundering sting aimed at drug operations inside Mexico's borders. 
"We have -- both governments have -- engaged in very, very significant efforts so that this does not come up again, so this does not recur," Mexico's attorney general Jorge Madrazo said at the close of the sixth annual meeting of U.S. and Mexican drug-control officials. "I'm very optimistic," said Madrazo, who spoke through a translator. But he added that the incident was not yet settled. "We still have an investigation under way," he said. U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey said, "Although there are frequently mishaps, I see no lack of goodwill or lack of commitment on the part of the senior law enforcement officers of the two governments to cooperate." Attorney General Janet Reno participated in the two-day talks. But she was not present at a closing session Wednesday because she attended a memorial service in her home state of Florida for Gov. Lawton Chiles, who died last weekend. Anti-drug cooperation between the United States and Mexico has been marked by hostility and suspicion. Many U.S. officials see Mexican law enforcement agencies as riddled with corruption. But many Mexicans view complaints from Americans as hypocritical as long as the United States remains the world's largest drug-consuming nation. The controversial U.S. sting called "Operation Casablanca," which was disclosed last May, resulted in 160 indictments, including those of at least two dozen Mexican bankers. Many of them were lured to the United States where they were arrested. Mexican officials say future cooperation with the United States in the war on drugs depends on greater openness. "Drug trafficking is an international crime which demands international response based on respectful cooperation ... and the respect of national sovereignty," said Mexican Foreign Secretary Rosario Green. Both sides agreed that this week's talks were marked by some improvement in disclosure. "Our exchanges have more depth and are more satisfying," Madrazo said, including information from Mexico that heroin seizures are up. McCaffrey held up a stack of documents several inches thick to show how much information was shared by the two countries this week. "We inundated each other with data," he said. 
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