The Administration strongly opposes S.J.Res. 42, which would disapprove the
President's certification of Mexico as a cooperative partner in U.S.
counternarcotics efforts. This resolution would be counterproductive to
U.S. interests and would have negative consequences for U.S.
counternarcotics cooperation with Mexico.
A decision to reverse the President's certification decision would send a
strong signal of U.S. loss of confidence in the Mexican Government's
efforts and lack of U.S. political will to cooperate meaningfully with
Mexico. Mexico's assistance and cooperation is critical to the success of
our own National Drug Strategy and to our ability to combat transnational
On February 26, 1998, the President certified that Mexico and 21 other
countries cooperated fully with the United States, or took adequate steps
on their own to combat production and trafficking of illicit drugs and
money laundering. The President's decision to certify Mexico's
counternarcotics efforts was based on an objective review of Mexico's
accomplishments across the full range of counternarcotics actions called
for in the 1988 UN Drug Convention and in the "Declaration of the
U.S.-Mexico Alliance Against Drugs" announced by Presidents Clinton and
Zedillo in May 1997.
Mexican President Zedillo has demonstrated a firm determination to confront
drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as to curb drug-related
corruption. In 1997, Mexico took concrete steps to begin implementing
important legal reforms passed in 1996, particularly the establishment of
specialized units to investigate organized crime and money laundering. New
screening procedures for law enforcement agents have increased
professionalism and the level of trust and cooperation with U.S. agencies.
In December, the Mexican Congress passed a comprehensive chemical control
bill, which when reinforced by strong law enforcement actions and good
cooperation with the United States and other countries, will help to stem
the diversion of chemicals to illicit drug production. The interdiction of
cocaine has also increased significantly. Mexico further reduced net
production of heroin and marijuana through sustained pressure on
cultivators, particularly through the Government's eradication program.
The United States and Mexico have continued to make progress in
strengthening the relationships between our agencies. This cooperation has
yielded practical results, including approval by the two governments of
record numbers of extraditions in both directions. Mexico approved the
extradition of five Mexican nationals sought on drug-related charges; while
these individuals are resisting the extradition action in court, these
cases constitute a major advance in cooperation in the return of fugitives.
The Administration is working closely with Mexico, through formal fora such
as the High-Level Contact Group on Narcotics Control, and through
day-to-day cooperation at operational levels. Cooperation will be guided
by the U.S.-Mexico Binational Drug Control Strategy, which was
released in February of this year.