Cornyn, King Introduce Bill to Increase U.S.-Mexico Military Cooperation to Combat Cartels
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the 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:
“The United States and Mexico must work together to put a stop to the cartel violence and drugs ravaging communities on both sides of our shared border,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bill would equip Mexican military forces with the training they need to help them confront murderous cartels and keep our countries safe and secure.”
“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 hope we can get it passed urgently to start saving lives.”
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.