Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Alhondiga de Granaditas, Guanajuato, Mexico at the invitation of Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa on Monday, January 24, 2011. During a joint press availability, Secretary Clinton said:
"Before I begin, I want to express a very strong condemnation of today's terrorist attacks at the Moscow Airport. We stand with the people of Russia in this moment of sorrow and grief, and we offer both our condolences and our very strong solidarity as they continue the struggle that so many of us face in combating and eliminating this international terror threat.
"Closer to Mexico, and especially here, I just learned that Bishop Samuel Ruiz, a native son, has passed away. And I was told by my colleagues that he was a tireless mediator who sought reconciliation and justice through dialogue, and that is exactly the legacy that should be honored and the example that should be followed.
"We have just had a very productive meeting, as we always do. I have to publicly thank the secretary for the excellent cooperation, partnership, and friendship that she and I have developed during my two years as Secretary of State. I think it reflects the commitment by our two presidents. Both President Obama and President Calderon, are very committed to this relationship, which we consider one of the most important in the world. And both President Obama and I have been very impressed by President Calderon's courage and leadership, and we are very heartened by his commitment to a stronger U.S.-Mexico relationship and partnership. And it is because of our commitment at the highest levels of our government that we are here today discussing in a very open way all of the issues between us and working on enhancing our cooperation to produce results that will benefit both the people of Mexico and the people of the United States.
"Mexico is not only an important bilateral partner. Mexico is a regional and global leader. We see that every single day. We saw it most especially at the recent Cancun climate talks. Our two nations worked together not only as neighbors but as partners in meeting the global climate challenge. And thanks in large part to President Calderon's leadership and Secretary Espinosa's chairmanship, Mexico played the central role in achieving a consensus agreement that proved the skeptics wrong and broke important new ground on the path toward a cleaner, more secure energy future.
"Mexico is also playing an important role here in the region. We spoke at length about Haiti. We are jointly urging the Haitian Government to honor the recommendations of the Organization of American States as Haiti prepares to hold a second round of elections. We also spoke about how we can do more bilaterally to enhance clean energy and deal with climate change. We are working to extend our efforts against transnational crime into Central America to give the people of Central America more support and security.
"We are deepening our economic ties. We are enhancing the global competitiveness of our two countries. Now, I know it doesn't make the headlines, but in the last two years we've had so many positive developments between the United States and Mexico: three new border crossings -- two in Texas, one in Arizona -- that are enhancing the more than $1 billion worth of trade that cross our border every day. We are working to make sure that we are going to be positioned to play a very big role in North America in the 21st century economy. Mexico will be hosting the G-20 in 2012. Mexico played a very important role, under President Calderon's leadership, in helping to guide the global economy through very difficult times over the last two years.
"We are committed to this relationship on every single level. And we are following through on the declaration by both of our presidents on 21st century border management. We're exploring ways to inspect and clear legitimate goods away from border stations. We are trying to do more on our side of the border to prevent money laundering and illegal arms coming in to Mexico. We are working with our counterparts in each of our governments to create trucking policies that reduce transit costs and enhance safety on our roads. We discussed ways to use the $1 billion in available financing from Ex-Im Bank to Banobras to build Mexican infrastructure and create jobs in both countries. We also have new ideas, using both of our governments to create more small businesses, to work on projects together in high tech, green jobs, and clean energy technology.
"Now, we also cooperate not only in the economic realm, but in the education realm, the health realm, and so much else. And certainly, when it comes to security, we have shared interests. We are taking decisive steps to address our common security challenges. President Obama and I, from my very first visit to Mexico, have been frank about the fact that our countries share responsibility. The United States has been willing, under President Obama, to admit that we have a responsibility for some of the very difficult transnational organized crime challenges that Mexico is dealing with. That is why it is important for us to work closely together to halt the stream of illegal weapons and cash coming in one direction and drugs going in the other direction.
"Beginning with the Merida Initiative, moving into the beyond Merida phase, our two countries have redoubled our efforts to stop drug trafficking and organized crime. This year, we have committed to deliver $500 million in equipment and capacity building to the Government of Mexico. That includes $60 million for nonintrusive inspection equipment that will help law enforcement and customs agents to detect illegal arms and money moving into and within Mexico. Through Merida, we are working to help Mexico strengthen court systems, build resilient communities, and offer constructive alternatives for young people.
"And we are seeing real results on both sides of the border. On the Mexican side, thanks to improved intelligence and targeting, nearly two dozen high-level traffickers have been captured or killed just in the past year. On the U.S. side, the FBI just arrested the largest number of mafia members in history this month. And our Treasury has designated nearly 800 businesses and individuals associated with drug kingpins. In both countries, we continue to confront organized crime within our borders and across them. We still have work to do. I'm not going to deny that. But we are making progress. And President Calderon's very courageous leadership is one of the reasons why we are making some gains that are important."