The Obama administration will release a new Mexican border drug-fighting strategy that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says won’t just focus on smugglers, reports the Associated Press. The major difference between this strategy and the government’s plan from 2007 is the focus on stopping weapons and cash from crossing the border into Mexico. Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and drug czar Gil Kerlikowske are due to issue the plan today in Albuquerque. “This is not just about slowing or impeding the flow of drugs from Mexico and Central America into the United States, it’s also about reducing the demand for those drugs,” Napolitano said yesterday in Tucson.
The new drug program, the law enforcement grants under an existing program called Operation Stonegarden and other resources the federal government is adding along the Mexican border are part of the administration’s integrated effort to combat cartel-related violence in Mexico, Napolitano said. A new Homeland Security Advisory Council Southwest Border Task Force met yeterday in Albuquerque. Napolitano has asked the 20-member group to focus on ensuring rigorous inspection processes at ports of entry while allowing commerce to continue and assessing the practical consequences of border violence. The task force is chaired by former CIA and FBI Director William Webster. Other members include former ambassador to Mexico Jim Jones, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, New Mexico National Guard Maj. Gen. Kenny Montoya and Sheriff Raymond Cobos of Luna County, N.M.