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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Merida, Yucatan, Mexico)
For Immediate Release                                  February 15, 1999


                  U.S.-Mexico Counter-Drug Cooperation:
            Bi-National Performance Measures of Effectiveness

President Clinton and President Zedillo of Mexico today announced agreement on Bi-National Performance Measures of Effectiveness (PMEs), an important advance in the two leaders' continued effort to combat the threat of illegal drugs. The PMEs provide objective markers that the United States and Mexico can use to measure the success of our cooperative efforts to reduce the supply and demand of illegal drugs. They also serve to identify those areas in which both nations can intensify their counter-drug efforts. By imposing measures for determining progress, the PMEs ensure a greater degree of accountability and scrutiny.

On May 6, 1997, the United States and Mexico formed an Alliance Against Drugs, which laid the foundation for the U.S.-Mexico Bi-National Drug Strategy, issued in February of last year. This strategy complements the national drug control efforts of both the United States and Mexico, and promotes the three principal counter-drug objectives we share:

Reduce the illicit consumption, production and traffic of narcotics and psychotropic substance in both countries;

Combat drug-related crimes, such as money laundering, arms trafficking, and the diversion of precursor and essential chemicals; and

Treat the health and safety problems generated by drugs that both our countries face.

The PMEs are critical to the implementation of this strategy, enabling both governments to track progress towards achieving each of the sixteen major goals identified in the Alliance declaration, and the 147 action items specified in the Strategy. The PMEs address the following areas of drug control:

          Demand Reduction
          Production and Distribution of Drugs
          Criminal Organizations
          Law Enforcement Cooperation
          Firearms Trafficking
          Border Cooperation and Security
          Chemical Control
          Money Laundering
          Asset Forfeiture
          Training and Technical Assistance
          Exchange of Information and Evidence

The PMEs not only enable both partners to gauge progress in these areas, but also orient future counter-drug efforts. The Bi-National Drug Strategy calls for responses to the results our on-going cooperation, as measured by the PMEs, by prescribing modifications to both nations' counter-drug efforts.

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