Mexican Customs officers trained in U.S.
Twenty-four Mexican Custom's officers graduated last week from the first training course offered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in North Charleston, S.C., the Department of Homeland Security said.
Coursework covered Mexican and U.S. customs law, as well as training in a variety of investigative techniques, officer safety tactics, and ethics — helping to provide the graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat cross-border crime, including money laundering, customs offenses and weapons and drug trafficking, in close coordination with ICE special agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
The training is part of a larger U.S. commitment to help Mexico combat drug cartels and stop violence along the Southwest border. The program is funded through a State Department program that has provided $1.4 billion in aid to provide training and equipment to support law enforcement operations in Mexico.
The Obama administration early last year stepped up assistance to Mexico as the war between Mexican authorities and drug gangs escalated. DHS instituted more systematic inspections of outbound cargo and travelers to interdict smuggled currency and firearms used to support the drug gangs' operations. DHS has also beefed up Border Patrol and Customs forces and doubled the number of law enforcement personnel assigned to Border Enforcement Security Task Forces that collaborate to bust up criminal organizations.
Law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border have also agreed to increased information and intelligence sharing.