Attorney General Kamala D. Harris will lead a delegation of state attorneys general to Mexico to strengthen working relationships between government officials in both countries and enhance efforts to combat transnational crime. The delegation will meet with Mexican state attorneys general and federal officials to discuss the issues of drug, human and firearms trafficking, financial crimes and cybercrimes.
“The fight against transnational crime requires a unified response across state and international borders,” Attorney General Harris said. “This bipartisan delegation of attorneys general will travel to Mexico to strengthen the cross-border coordination and communication that is vital to ending this violent, insidious issue. I thank my colleagues for joining me to address this serious threat to California and the United States.”
The delegation trip is a result of work by the Attorneys General Consortium to Fight Transnational Organized Crime, and is organized with the assistance of the Conference of Western Attorneys General.
The attorneys general will travel to Mexico City from March 24 through the 26. The delegation includes California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and New Mexico Attorney General Gary King.
The attorneys general will meet with Mexican state and federal officials to discuss mutual cooperation in areas of technology, information sharing and prosecution coordination.
Specifically, the delegation will meet with government officials to increase mutual strategic support to combat the problems of international money laundering, intellectual property violations and distribution of counterfeit goods, and the adoption of technology to combat human trafficking, cybercrime and child pornography distribution.
The delegation will meet with:
- Mexico Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam
- President of the National Banking Commission Jaime Gonzalez Aguade
- Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo
- General Director of the Mexico Institute of Industrial Property Miguel Margain
- State attorneys general from Sonora, Baja California, Chihuahua, Campeche, Distrito Federal, Zacatecas and Jalisco
Before leading the delegation to Mexico, Attorney General Harris will:
- Meet with federal officials on Tuesday, March 18 to tour the San Ysidro Port of Entry—the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere and a hotspot for the importation of illegal narcotics.
- Release a comprehensive report on Thursday, March 20 detailing the current impact of transnational criminal organizations on California. The report will also include recommendations to address the threat of transnational crime in our state.
“Education and collaboration is key to the success of government organizations,” said Nevada Attorney General Masto. “I am honored to assist in exchanging information about practices on human trafficking, drugs, and organized crime.”
“It’s an honor to continue assisting our Mexican peers as they work to transition their justice system,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. “These meetings allow us to share best practices that advance key law enforcement priorities related to transnational organized crime.”
“It is important for New Mexico that I continue our long established working relationship with Mexico to improve border security; combat drug and human trafficking; reduce border violence, and other issues. I remain committed to ensuring that New Mexico continues to be a leader in efforts to make our borderlands safer and improve the quality of life on both sides,” New Mexico Attorney General King said.
Last year, Attorney General Harris convened a meeting of western Attorneys General to propose the creation of a working group to combat transnational crime. This working group, the Attorneys General Consortium to Fight Transnational Organized Crime, is currently coordinating state-level policy leadership on civil and criminal enforcement strategies against transnational crime by creating uniform legislation that allows bringing civil forfeiture actions against traffickers and focusing on threats from specific transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). The group is also coordinating regular data and intelligence-sharing on TCO activity that includes the creation of an inventory of the work that state offices are doing and identifying areas where mutual assistance could strengthen investigations.
In 2012, Attorney General Harris and then-Mexico Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibáñez signed an accord agreeing to expand prosecutions and secure convictions of criminals who engage in human trafficking. The agreement also included an increase in coordination of law enforcement resources targeting transnational gangs across the California-Mexico border.
In 2012, Attorney General Harris also released a report, The State of Human Trafficking in California, at a symposium also attended by then-Mexico Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibáñez. The report outlined the growing prevalence of the crime of human trafficking in California, the increasing involvement of sophisticated transnational gangs in perpetrating the crime, and the modern technologies that traffickers use to facilitate it. That report is available here: http://www.oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking/2012.