President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has described as “very productive” a meeting with a U.S. delegation on Monday to discuss mutual security concerns such as drug trafficking and migration.
The U.S. delegation was led by Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and senior drug control policy advisor Kemp Chester, among others.
The delegation met at the National Palace with Mexican security officials, including Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodrígez, Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval and Interior Minister Luisa María Alcalde.
After more than three hours of discussion, AMLO released a statement on social media praising the meeting.
“We are dealing with the migration issue with a focus on respecting human rights and cooperation for human development, as well as [with] the fight against fentanyl and arms trafficking,” he said. “The ‘good neighbor’ policy is advancing without problems.”
Icela Rodríguez also hailed the meeting as “very good,” while Sherwood-Randall described it as “excellent.”
In a press statement released on Tuesday, the Mexican government highlighted several areas of cooperation to combat fentanyl trafficking, including “discovering, disrupting and dismantling firearms trafficking networks.”
It also praised commitments to address undocumented migration, including expanding legal avenues and joint development work in Central America.
All these issues have been tension points between the two countries in recent months, with the U.S. pressuring Mexico to do more to tackle drug trafficking and undocumented migration. Meanwhile, Mexico has continued to pursue a US $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers for fueling illegal arms trafficking and criminal violence in Mexico.
Mutual security was also a key discussion topic at the North American Leaders Summit in January. Monday’s meeting aimed to build on agreements reached at the summit. A trilateral meeting will be held with Canadian security officials on Tuesday.
The delegation is Sherwood-Randall’s fourth official visit to Mexico. She last met with Mexican security officials on May 30 to discuss drug trafficking and the migration crisis. At his Tuesday morning press conference, President López Obrador praised her efforts to improve the bilateral security relationship.
“She has been in constant communication with us, and there are very good results in cooperation work,” he said. “We are working very well with the United States government; there are no fundamental differences.”