Presidents meet over drug war

June 22, 2009 12:13:17 PM PDT
President Barack Obama was in Mexico Thursday for face-to-face talks with President Felipe Calderon. The border drug war took center stage. We talked to an ATF agent who knows that battle first-hand. By accepting part of the responsibility to fix the violent border problem, President Obama made the border drug war his own war.

"We are absolutely committed to working in a partnership with Mexico," said President Obama.

On the front pages of Mexican newspapers were screaming headlines of yet another drug massacre. This time, there were 19 executions in Guerrero. It's exactly what the two presidents need to stop. Doing that will not be easy.

On Friday, we came to the U.S. Embassy to meet with U.S. law enforcement officials working here in Mexico to direct the fight.

The DEA and ATF are working with their Mexican counterparts to track weapons, track cartel leaders, and help Mexicans take them down.

Strangely the law enforcement officials we met with view the violence at the hands of Mexican cartels here as an unfortunate sign of progress.

"The Mexican government is putting more pressure on them. That in turn is causing them to react and change methods of operation and I think that may be one of the reasons we're seeing an increase in violence," said the ATF agent.

The agent did not want us to take his picture and the reasons are obvious. Many of his Mexican colleagues in law enforcement have been threatened, some shot, even killed.

"I think it's very dangerous. They are in a war. The more they take the fight to them, the more dangerous it becomes for everyone involved," said the agent.

That means if the cooperation succeeds in beating the cartels, the violence may just get worse here before it gets better.

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