Fresh back from a 5-day trip to South America, Congressman Roy Blunt said the Attorney General of Mexico believes violence in the country "is on its way in the right direction."
"I'm hopeful that he's right," the Congressman said in a phone interview later.
Blunt held a morning conference call with reporters to explain his trip. Blunt visited Mexico, Panama and Colombia with Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer between Friday and Wednesday.
Blunt praised Mexican President Felipe Calderon for pushing for extradition of top drug leaders and cracking down on cartel corruption that is fueling much of the recent border violence. He also mentioned the impact of the Combat Meth Act, and how immediately afterwards, it caused "an immediate surge of Mexican meth," because of the crackdown here.
He said Mexican and U.S. meth prices have apparently doubled, because it's more difficult to make meth and harder to get it into the country. "It's dramatically limited the supply," Blunt explained.
Blunt also mentioned extensive meetings with the presidents of Panama and Colombia. He said both leaders are very appreciative of the Mexican government's effort to combat the drug wars. He also said they agreed on a broad consensus strategy to move forward. "It was helpful to try to figure out what has worked and didn't work in dealing with cartel corruption and the national security threats they present," Blunt said.
Asked later about Mexico's opinion of the United States putting troops on the border, he said, "I think they are highly appreciative of the cooperation."
A technical difficulty with the conference call cut off the Q & A session with reporters, but the Congressman followed up with personal phone calls to answer questions later in the day.