The military-to-military relationship between the United States and Mexico has never been better, said Air Force Gen. Victor Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command.
The Mexican government has vowed to take on drug cartels that have spread violence along the border of the two nations, and the U.S. intelligence community is sharing all the information it can with those who are fighting the traffickers, he said at the GeoInt conference in San Antonio, Texas.
“Our relationship with Mexico is growing in leaps and bounds every day,” he said.
Furthermore, the highest echelons of the U.S. intelligence community are involved in assisting Mexican authorities, he maintained. That includes Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence James R. Clapper, with whom he closely coordinates what information is passed on to Mexico.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair is “aggressively working that [issue] on the national level,” he added.
Drug-related violence along the border has increased dramatically during the past year, with an estimated 3,000 deaths attributed to cartels in Northern Mexico.
The Mexican government has complained that laundered money and guns flow from the United States south of the border, which exacerbates the problem. Renuart said the United States is committed to help stem the southward flow of contraband as well.
The amount of intelligence and information sharing between the two nations is “historic and unprecedented,” he added.
Randy Hill, chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol’s Del Rio, Texas sector, agreed. He has been conducting monthly, quarterly and annual meetings with his Mexican counterparts since the administration of President Felipe Calderon took office, he said at an Institute for Defense and Government Advancement border security conference. “I don’t think it’s ever been better,” he said of the new cooperative environment.