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U.S. ambassador to Mexico: Americans must accept responsibility for Mexico's drug-related problems

November 20, 2008 | 11:03 am

Tony Garza, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, called on the United States to recognize its responsibility in the fight against drug traffickers in Mexico.

"Mexico would not be the center of the cartel's activities, nor would it be experiencing these levels of violence, if it wasn't for the United States -- the major consumer of illegal drugs and the principal supplier of arms to the cartels."

"The United States and Mexico must fight organized crime together or we will fail together," said Garza, speaking at an event in Texas earlier this week.

Garza commended Mexican President Felipe Calderon for some of the measures he has taken to fight organized crime in the country, which include sending thousands of soldiers into the areas where the drug cartels have the tightest hold and making efforts to clean up corruption within the police force.

According to Milenio, Garza also commended outgoing U.S President Bush for having pushed the so-called Merida Initiative, which pledges $400 million in first-year funding to Mexico to aid its fight against organized crime.

Click here to go to our running coverage of the drug wars, "Mexico Under Siege."

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City