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Initiative trains Mexico’s Federal Police to work together with US agents along the border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted an operational readiness exercise at the Camino Real International Bridge in Eagle Pass TX, on Wednesday, Feb. 6 2019. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr)

The U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector in coordination with the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement began a three-day course Tuesday that provides the Federal Police from Mexico with shared tactics to work together with U.S. agents.

The U.S. and Mexico Anti-Transnational Criminal Organization and Border Violence Prevention Initiative for the Federal Police provides the basic skills and knowledge necessary to approach and safely conduct dynamic entry into buildings to include room clearing, marksmanship in confined areas, negotiating difficult terrain, land navigation and CPR and first aid.

“I have no doubt that this mutual endeavor will profoundly improve our ability to respond to future threats and improve border security along the Rio Grande Valley,” Javier Rodriguez, assistant chief patrol agent for the Rio Grande Valley Sector, said. “It is in the best interest to work together because we have criminals operating on both sides of the border. So, together we already exchange information, we already work together so we need to maintain that open dialogue and that open relationship so that we can continue enforcing the law on both sides of the country.”

Cameron County Investigator Rodrigo Almanza said it is very clear that law enforcement adversaries do not respect laws, limits nor jurisdictions, making it even more important for law enforcement agents from both sides of the border to work together.

“Their resources are unlimited and the collaborations among government agencies allow us to create the conditions to prevent and be a step ahead,” Almanza said. “It is important to combine our efforts, knowledge and to foment a fast exchange of information and to also improve constantly our capacity to react. Together, working in harmony, we will achieve better results in security, which both countries need.”

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The training is focused on agents who are assigned to the border so that both countries can continue to work together. Jose Gutierrez, political and economic officer from the U.S. Consulate Office in Matamoros, said it is important for agents from Matamoros and Brownsville to work together and develop trust in each other.

“We really appreciate the support we get on the local communities here, not just a federal issue but it is also a local and state issue,” he said. “The topics that they cover on these trainings are important, but I think the real value for us, as well as the State Department with Mexico, is to develop these relationships. It goes beyond the technical aspect but also that they get to develop that trust in each other.”

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© 2019 The Brownsville Herald