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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Cape Town, South Africa)
For Immediate Release                                     March 27, 1998


Senate Vote on Mexico Certification

The President welcomes the vote by the Senate to uphold his certification of Mexico as a full partner of the United States in the fight against drugs. As he indicated when he certified Mexico on February 26, it is only in cooperation and partnership with other nations that we can successfully meet the transnational threat of drugs. Through our binational Alliance Against Drugs with Mexico, we have over the past year strengthened law enforcement cooperation; removed obstacles to extraditions; streamlined arrangements for pursuing traffickers; tightened money laundering controls; moved to block the diversion of precursor chemicals used to produce drugs; and increased cocaine seizures nearly 50 percent. Our binational drug strategy lays out the steps both countries agree to take in order to strengthen this partnership further.

Mexico faces a serious challenge from the narcotraffickers who use violence, intimidation, and the financial power of our country's $57 billion annual demand for drugs to undermine Mexican institutions and corrupt those who would counter them. By continuing to work cooperatively with Mexico, and by sustaining our own progress in reducing the demand for drugs at home, we will together overcome this challenge to both our societies.

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