Mexico and the U.S. will develop a “checklist” of tasks for both sides to intensify the fight against Mexican drug gangs engaged in a bloody turf war, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday, reports the Washington Post. Speaking near the end of a two-day visit, Clinton said the list would include timelines committing the U.S. to speed delivery of drug-fighting aid and getting Mexico to move faster on reforming its judicial and law enforcement institutions. The visit came as the U.S. expressed alarm over the surge of drug violence in Mexico, where President Felipe Calderon has deployed the army in a desperate effort to restore order. More than 7,000 people have been killed since January 2008 in attacks by traffickers on their competitors and security forces.
Clinton called on Mexicans to support their government’s fight against the gangs and urged students to use the Internet to send tips on illegal activity to authorities. In Washington, Dennis C. Blair, the top U.S. intelligence officer, sought to dispel perceptions that the U.S. was worried about Mexico’s stability. “Mexico is in no danger of becoming a failed state,” he said. Blair said the spike in violence in Mexico showed that the Calderon government’s anti-drug policies were having an effect.