Incoming Homeland Security Committee Chairman Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) expressed encouragement about Mexico's movement toward security and economic prosperity following meetings with newly elected President Enrique Pena Nieto and members of his cabinet.
From discussions with both President Pena Nieto and Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Nieto's top security advisor, it appears Mexico will emphasize the need for special operations forces, coordinated intelligence and shared technologies in its war against the drug cartels, which have killed nearly 60,000 people in Mexico since 2006. The strategy will also employ the unprecedented targeting of banks complicit with cartel money laundering.
Reps. McCaul and Cuellar also expressed optimism that Pemex, Mexico's state-run petroleum company, will pursue contracting with private oil and gas companies to develop that country's natural resources and its interest in a gas pipeline between Texas and Mexico, potentially strengthening energy security for both countries.
"I am pleased with President Nieto's cabinet choices and the new administration's commitments toward security and economic prosperity," said Congressman McCaul. "I will continue to make sure our neighbor to the south moves forward toward these goals."
"I have confidence that Mexico will continue working with the United States collaboratively on issues that affect both countries, including border security," said Congressman Cuellar. "From what I have gathered in listening to Mexico's new President Enrique Pena Nieto, he is willing to continue to work to defeat the drug cartels, and at the same time, is looking for ways to help grow the economies of both countries."
The discussions coincided with the inauguration of President Pena Nieto in Mexico City. Congressmen McCaul and Cuellar delivered a unified, bipartisan message to the new administration that the United States is committed to continuing to assist Mexico's war against the cartels but that Mexico must do its part to secure the border.
The delegation, led by Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and which also included Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), was designated by Speaker John Boehner to represent the United States at the inauguration.
In addition, the delegation met with Mexico's Treasury Secretary, who outlined a plan for fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and no debt; and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce to discuss trade and our relative economies.