U.S., Mexican Officials Meet On Border Security
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Americans may be concerned about illegal drugs coming from Mexico to the United States, but Mexicans are concerned about a bit of trade the other way, a related bit of trade. Weapons in this country are going to Mexico, where they are used by drug cartels battling for control of turf. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder are wrapping up a trip to Mexico this morning, where they've been discussing illegal weapons trafficking. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.
JASON BEAUBIEN: A Mexican reporter asked Attorney General Holder about a Fox News report challenging the administration's statistic that 90 percent of the guns in Mexico's drug war come from the U.S. Holder responded.
ERIC HOLDER: It almost doesn't matter if it's 60 percent or 70 percent or 90 percent. The reality is that too many weapons are flowing from the United States into Mexico.
BEAUBIEN: The attorney general said the weapons, particularly the high powered assault rifles, are making it difficult for the Mexican police and military to confront the drug gangs.
HOLDER: We will take responsibility for what is happening and do all that we can on our side of the border to stop that flow of guns.
BEAUBIEN: In Mexico, there's widespread indignation that AK-47s, M-16s and other military-style firearms can be purchased legally just across the Rio Grande. Napolitano was asked if the Obama administration would push for an assault weapons ban.
JANET NAPOLITANO: We intend to go forward and believe we can go forward with the laws that we have. We're not going to wait for Congress to act or not act. But the sense of urgency is with us now, so we will go with we've got.
BEAUBIEN: Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Mexico City.
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