The Secretary of Homeland Security United States on Thursday introduced the 2011 government strategy to stop drug trafficking along the Mexican border, pledging to increase intelligence collaboration and technology to strengthen security.
The U.S. president, Barack Obama has been under intense pressure to strengthensecurity in the southwest border, from Mexico to the north, and stop the movement of arms and money towards the south . The strategy update is the first since 2009.
"Since then we have devoted unprecedented efforts to ensure that the border is secure," saidat a press conference in the Border Patrol station in Nogales in southern Arizona. Napolitano, who was accompanied Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Alan Bersin, Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection United States, presented the report detailing 10 strategic objectives.
Among the goals is to increase the exchange of information and intelligence with local law enforcement agencies, state and tribal along the over 3,200-km border and improve its links with the Mexican authorities.
The plan also seeks to increase the use of technologies such as X-ray machines at border crossings to detect drugs being smuggled into the U.S. market, profits and shipments of cash and weapons going to Mexico for drug cartels.
Due to the increase in smuggling by sea along the coast of southern California, the plan seeks to improve detection and tracking of small vessels, including submarines, which have been used by drug cartels to carry the waters of the Pacific from Colombia and Central America.
It also seeks to double the capacity to detect underground tunnels under the border, which are often used to smuggle drugs . The law enforcement officials had found 135 of them until March of this year.
The plan also emphasizes reducing U.S. demand for drugs through education, community development and delivery of rehabilitation consumers.
As a measure of success of the Government, Napolitano said that seizures of weapons, drugs and cash have increased in the Southwest border in the last two years, while the number of illegal immigrants has dropped "substantially". "The figures to be are rising up, the figures are down, they are really down, and the president is committed to maintain this effort, "he said.