HSAC meeting targets border strife

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By Carol A. Clark

ALBUQUERQUE – Fighting Mexican drug cartels and associated violence plaguing U.S. border towns is a top priority for the Obama administration, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a meeting at the University of New Mexico Friday.

Napolitano, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Director Gil Kerlikowske of the Office of National Drug Control Policy unveiled President Barack Obama’s strategy for attacking the crisis, which she said has killed 10,000 people since 2005.

Their audience included local law enforcement, elected officials and members of the public and also was streamed live to state and local intelligence fusion centers throughout the Southwest.

“Our international cooperation is very key,” Napolitano said. “Quite frankly as someone who has been working on border related matters for a number of years, we have an unprecedented opportunity now working with the federal government of Mexico to take the fight against these cartels from both directions. This is a window of opportunity we should not let go by.”

Holder stressed that the effort must be a national priority. “Of particular importance to me being from the Department of Justice is enhancing investigations and prosecutions,” he said.

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