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WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and

Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo today signed a letter
setting up a procedure to enhance cooperation in sensitive cross
border law enforcement activities.

On June 8, 1998, Presidents Clinton and Zedillo, at the

United Nations General Assembly Special Session for Drugs,
endorsed the efforts of their respective Attorneys General to
further strengthen the bilateral process for law enforcement
consultation and collaboration. Today's letter, signed at a
ceremony in Brownsville, Texas, reflects the actions they have

The United States and Mexico share a common 2,000 mile land
border, combine to form one of the largest trade partnerships in
the world, and are intrinsically linked by culture, history, and
geography. Recognizing this unique set of circumstances, the two
Attorneys General, in their joint letter, acknowledged that
"[o]ur two nations share a strong interest in cooperating against
our common enemies, the drug traffickers, money launderers and
other criminals and criminal organizations, and in developing
coordinated means of investigating and prosecuting these
criminals with due respect for each other's sovereignty."

To advance the common objectives of both countries, the

Attorneys General are committed to:

Enhanced communications regarding sensitive cross border law

enforcement activities, consistent with legal constraints
and security concerns;

Prior consultations of significant domestic and third

country law enforcement activities, where supportive and
feasible; and,

Joint training among law enforcement agencies to foster a

greater understanding of the legal system and law
enforcement procedures in each country.

The commitments in the letter of the Attorneys General will

build upon previous joint law enforcement successes attained by
U.S. Mexico cooperative relations, including:

An unprecedented 11 Mexican nationals have been found

extraditable by Mexico. These individuals are currently in
the custody of Mexican authorities, awaiting the completion
of their appeals process.

Twenty three fugitives were returned from Mexico to the U.S.

last year based upon extradition and deportation mechanisms a record
number of fugitives returned from Mexico. A
similar number was returned from the U.S. to Mexico.

Last month, Mexico arrested two of the largest

methamphetamine traffickers in the world, Luis and Jesus
Amezcua. Although these individuals were initially arrested
on Mexican charges (the drug charges were subsequently
dismissed), the Amezcuas are now being held in Mexico
pending the extradition proceedings on U.S. charges. A
third brother, Adan Amezcua, was apprehended in Mexico, and
the U.S. has provided the Mexican authorities with evidence
to support money laundering charges in Mexico.

Mexico has sought the extradition of Emilio and Gabriel

Valdez Mainero, and Alfredo Hodoyan, significant drug
traffickers associated with the Tijuana based Arellano Felix
Organization, and the U.S. has successfully obtained the
judgment of extradition. They have not yet been surrendered
because they must await the appellate process on the
extraditions and serve their sentences in the U.S. The two
governments have also shared substantial information to
investigate, prosecute, and prepare effective extradition
requests for these individuals.

The U.S. is currently seeking the extradition of Arturo

"Kitti" Paez, a lead enforcer for the Arellano Felix
Organization, and Mexico has declared him extraditable,
pending the appellate (amparo) process.

The U.S. with the assistance and cooperation of Mexico

through information sharing mechanisms is prosecuting the
Logan Heights gang case in the San Diego area. The members
of this street gang were used by the Arellano Felix
Organization to commit murders and other violent acts on
both sides of the border. Under the bilateral Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty and Mexico's Organized Crime Law, Mexico
has transferred cooperating witnesses from prison in Mexico
to the U.S. to testify in U.S. criminal proceedings.

Reno and Madrazo, on November 13, 1997, signed a protocol to

the existing Extradition Treaty authorizing the temporary
surrender of persons for trial purposes and their return
after prosecution to complete the sentence against them in
the country of their initial conviction.

Bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico has

established vetting and staffing procedures within Mexican
law enforcement agencies which have increased confidence in
the integrity of the system and proceedings in Mexico.

The U.S. and Mexico, in February 1998, issued the first ever
Bi National Drug Strategy addressing issues of extradition,
mutual legal assistance, information sharing, illicit
diversion of precursor and essential chemicals, money
laundering, and asset forfeiture.

"Today's letter builds upon the previous cooperative efforts

and forges an enhanced law enforcement relationship between our
two countries for the future," said Reno.

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