Admiral James A. "Sandy" Winnefeld, Jr.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 12:54:16 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Mexican soldiers guard an arsenal in Cuitlhauac on March 14. Mexican soldiers found the arsenal and a training camp in the state of Veracruz. The site had trenches and an arsenal composed of 12,344 cartridge of different calibers, 191 magazines, 28 grenades, over a dozen guns, including AK- 47's. (Sergio Hernandez/AFP/Getty Images) #
- I spoke about how profoundly impressed I am by the determination and courage of the Mexican Government, the various Mexican security forces, and the Mexican people in taking on the challenge of confronting the Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO’s) head on. They know this is about the long-term future of their country.
- I highlighted the efforts that have been made to date…for example, more than 2 dozen of the most wanted criminals in their country have been arrested. I saluted Mexico's police and security forces for their courage, skill and determination and for the progress they've made in building institutions like the federal police.
- I discussed how the Mexican military is confronting concurrent challenges, such as how to counter a sophisticated, unconventional threat by integrating intelligence and operations, how to work jointly with each other and with the interagency partners, and how to fully inculcate respect for human rights into everything they do.
- I spoke openly about wanting to do more to help our friends in Mexico, however, I want to continue to be very clear that the first and most important principle we observe in this struggle is respect for Mexico’s sovereignty.
- And, while much remains to be done in this fight, the Mexican military and overall security forces are undergoing a very important transition right now that I think is going to lead to more success on their part. They are learning more about how to do this sort of irregular work. They are working much more closely together. They are seeking our help in the right way. And I believe that the opportunity exists, if we can support them properly, if they can continue the progress that they're making, that they can turn the corner on this.
- Finally, make no mistake…we have much to offer, but Mexico is always in the lead in Mexico.
All the best, Admiral Sandy Winnefeld