Senator Cornyn

Cornyn, King Bill to Increase U.S.-Mexico Military Cooperation to Combat Cartels Passes Senate

July 28, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Angus King (I-ME) released the following statements after their Partnership for Advancing Regional Training and Narcotics Enforcement Response Strategies (PARTNERS) Act, which would allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to train Mexican military forces in the United States to combat cartels in Mexico, passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“Cartel violence is ravaging communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and we must work together to confront this growing threat,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bill would allow U.S. officials to help train Mexican military forces to stop murderous cartels and keep our shared border safe, and I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for supporting it.”

“Every day, families across our country lose loved ones to the devastating epidemic of illegal drugs. This is an urgent crisis that needs to be addressed from every possible angle – especially by stopping drugs before they enter the country,” said Sen. King. “The United States is fortunate to have the most skilled, dedicated, and effective military professionals in the world. Allowing our military to train Mexican forces in counter-drug operations is a commonsense, cost-effective way to take on the criminal organizations who are responsible for many of America’s tragic drug overdoses. I appreciate Senator Cornyn’s partnership on this bill and am glad to see it included in the NDAA.”


The PARTNERS Act would create a military-to-military pilot program through the DoD to bring Mexican military forces to the U.S. to receive tactical training that they can employ in Mexico to counter transnational criminal organizations (TCO), including cartels, weapons dealers, drug traffickers, and human smugglers.

Sen. Cornyn led a congressional delegation (CODEL) to Mexico earlier this year to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and visit intelligence, drug enforcement, and government officials. During their meeting with the López Obrador administration, the delegation shared their concerns with Mexico’s handling of drug trafficking and cartel violence and urged cooperation between the two countries to address these issues.