“MX” for Borderland Beat
|Iván Duque (Colombia, left); Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico, right)
The Presidents of Mexico and Colombia met earlier this week in Mexico City to discuss an anti-money laundering plan and immigration reform to combat transnational organized crime. The intention of the meeting was to identify money laundering fronts and share information of criminals who may travel between both countries.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and Colombian president Iván Duque announced that they reached an agreement to share immigration and judicial background information. They said that this system would help security forces focus on dangerous criminal targets who intend to travel between both countries while protecting civilians who visit for legitimate business, academic or tourist interests.
The meeting took place at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (often shorten as “Tec de Monterrey”) campus in Santa Fe, Mexico City on 10 March 2020. It was held privately.
President Duque pointed out that the Mexican government was working diligently to strengthen its national security and work closely with Colombia to tackle similar problems both countries face. “We have always expressed it to Mexico that our idea is to share our experiences with them, so they can [improve] their public policies”, Duque said.
Duque admitted that Colombia has been working with multiple Mexican law enforcement agencies for a “long time” and Mexico and Colombia often exchange law enforcement information. When asked about his meeting with AMLO, Duque said it was “very constructive”.
Unlike other bilateral agreements done in the past between Colombia and Mexico, officials stated that this plan would have clear goals and deadlines that need to be met. They said that Colombian and Mexican officials would meet in person “periodically” to ensure that the project is moving forward. Duque told Mexican reporters that Colombia has such systems with authorities in Ecuador and Peru, with whom they share their southern border.
Background and bilateral ties
Mexico and Colombia enjoy good bilateral relations and their diplomatic ties date back to the 1800s. When Mexico first gained its independence from Spain in 1810, Colombia was the first country in the world to recognize it. Over the course of two centuries, Colombia and Mexico have grown closer since they continue to share historical and cultural affinities. The issue they confront together for the past few decades has been organized crime activity.
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