A delegation of Mexican officials, led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and the head of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC), Rosa Icela Rodríguez, arrived in Washington to hold high-level meetings on fentanyl and arms trafficking with their counterparts from the United States and Canada.
The meetings came after the U.S. government announced on Monday that it will increase sanctions to prevent fentanyl traffickers from accessing its financial system and that it will “lead” a global effort against this scourge.
On the Mexican side, the work will be coordinated by Rosa Icela Rodríguez, in charge of the national strategy to combat illicit trafficking of synthetic drugs and firearms and their ammunition; on the U.S. side will be Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, in charge of the White House anti-fentanyl effort.
Last night, the U.S. government hosted a reception for the Mexican delegation at the Naval Observatory in Mexico City.
Today, a working meeting with U.S. and Mexican officials will take place at the White House, followed by a luncheon at the Department of Justice. Later, officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States will participate in a trilateral security meeting.
Prior to the reception, Ebrard reiterated that Mexico is the United States’ main ally in the fight against fentanyl and said that the priority is to curb arms trafficking from the United States in order to reduce the firepower of criminals and make our communities safer.
The Mexican delegation, which also includes the Secretaries of Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the Navy, José Rafael Ojeda, and Health, Jorge Alcocer, as well as the Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero, will also address issues related to the fight against illicit arms trafficking. From the U.S. side, it is expected the participation of U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland; the Secretary of the Navy, Carlos del Toro; the National Security Advisor, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Rahul Gupta, among others. Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor, Jody Thomas, and Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, are expected to attend.