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Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, Enact New Border-Security Initiatives

June 27, 2008 By

Photo: Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano

On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano released a report on recent developments in border security.

"On Saturday, at a meeting of the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC)," said Napolitano, "Governor Eduardo Bours of Sonora joined me in signing new agreements that will stem the flow of illegal weapons and to capture fugitive felons in the United States and Mexico. Putting an end to border violence, while protecting legal commerce between our states, remains critically important to the 500 members of AMC.

A total of eight agreements were executed, including:

  • E-Trace. Illegal arms trafficking is a deadly issue on the border. This program provides a secure, Web-based method to trace firearms recovered in crimes and reduce the number of illegal weapons moving through Arizona. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will train Sonoran police on how to track illegal guns, ammunition and explosives.
  • Felony Fugitives. Local and state police will increase intelligence sharing and training to better track and capture fugitives in both states, building upon an effort in Arizona to track down felony fugitives.
  • Illegal Narcotics. Officials in Arizona and Sonora will share intelligence regarding drug trafficking organizations that use Arizona as a gateway into the United States. This program will allow the U.S. to prosecute Mexican nationals arrested on American soil for smuggling narcotics.
  • AZ3D. Once in place, AZ3D will provide geospatial information, including maps, for use by first responders in an emergency. Under the new agreement, Arizona and Sonora will explore the possibility of sharing cross-border geospatial information.
  • Border Emergency Agreement. To speed response to emergency situations, the closest emergency response team -- from either side of the border -- will be dispatched to help residents, whether they are in Mexico or in the U.S.
  • 2015 Border Infrastructure Plan. A seven-year plan that supports full cross-border coordination and cooperation on all projects to improve the Ports of Entry between the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Tri-National Emergency Response Plan. Will coordinate emergency notification and communication, routine emergency planning and cross-border emergency planning between Arizona, Sonora and the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"Over the past 30 years," said Napolitano, "the states of Arizona and Sonora have developed a strong relationship and an excellent cooperative track record. These agreements expand on that solid history, and take us closer to our mutual goal of creating an exceptional quality of life in the region.

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