A high-level delegation of U.S. officials, including three Cabinet secretaries, is meeting today with Mexican officials in Mexico City to discuss efforts to disrupt drug cartels as violence increasingly strikes Americans on the border, reports the Washington Post. The session comes a week after U.S. law enforcement agents fanned out in raids across El Paso to gather intelligence about a Texas gang. The gang is suspected of involvement in the recent killing of a pregnant American consulate officer and her husband, a corrections officer.
The Barrio Azteca gang, whose leader in Juarez is one of the FBI’s 10 most wanted fugitives, was formed in a Texas prison and has been linked to brutal episodes on both sides of the border. Investigators are trying to find out the motivation for the deadly attacks near the Juarez consulate, including whether the incident turned on a case of mistaken identity. A Justice Department delegation — including acting #2 official Gary Grindler, Michele Leonhart, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — will accompany Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair; John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism; and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.