In a politically sensitive operation at the Arizona-Mexico border, U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mexican federal police officers are training together, sharing intelligence and coordinating patrols for the first time, reports ProPublica. The goal is a systematic joint attack on northbound flows of drugs and migrants, and southbound shipments of guns and cash. It is part of a major, unannounced crackdown started in recent months that involves hundreds of U.S. and Mexican officers in the border's busiest smuggling corridor.
The initiative appears likely to expand. U.S. and Mexican officials have agreed to replicate the experiment elsewhere. Eventually, officials say, joint operations border-wide could lead to the creation of a Mexican force serving as a counterpart to the Border Patrol – an agency once regarded with nationalistic aversion in Mexico. The effort faces imposing obstacles: violent drug cartels, long-standing Mexican reluctance to interfere with illegal immigration into the United States and a legacy of corruption that has scuttled past enforcement efforts.