Despite ongoing violence south of the U.S.-Mexican border, cooperation between the two nations has reached unprecedented levels, McClatchy Newspapers report. Yesterday in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexican Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire touted how they've teamed up to fight drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering, and human smuggling. Simultaneously, they warned that progress could be stalled if not continued by the next administrations in both countries.
“The challenges are so massive, and the threats so clear, that as much as we have advanced it is imperative that the level of effort not only stays at the same level, but hopefully increases on both sides of the border,” Poire said. Mexicans voted this summer for President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto. He takes over Dec. 1. It's unclear whether Pena will continue the same relationship with the next U.S. president, whether it is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Pena has stressed in campaigns that he wants to reduce the level of violence in Mexico. Violence in Mexico has claimed more than 35,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon came into office in 2006. Most of the fighting has been between drug gangs, but the violence has left Mexicans questioning Calderon's war on drug trafficking. Last year, 15,273 Mexicans were killed in drug-related violence.