Safeguarding U.S. and Mexican Security Interests in 2022

Adopted at the 2021 High-Level Security Dialogue, the Bicentennial Understanding created a comprehensive, innovative, and long-term strategy for bilateral security cooperation.

Safeguarding U.S. and Mexican Security Interests in 2022
Peace and Safety between the United States and Mexico in 2022. Photo by Greg Bulla / Unsplash

The Bicentennial Understanding, adopted at the 2021 High-Level Security Dialogue, established a comprehensive, innovative and long-term approach to guide our bilateral security cooperation. Mexico and the United States remain committed to an enduring partnership based on trust and mutual respect for sovereignty and independence.

The Bicentennial Understanding reiterates the commitment of both countries to take concrete actions on both sides of the border, including on human smuggling and trafficking, violence and illicit weapons, as well as drug addiction and illicit drugs.

Mexico and the United States recognize a shared responsibility to uphold the rule of law through more effective law enforcement cooperation and to protect our people from transnational criminal organizations.

In our first year under the Bicentennial Understanding, we protected the health of our citizens by expanding our collaboration to reduce drug addiction and its related harms.

The United States invested $25.1 billion (mmdd) in addiction treatment and illicit narcotics interdiction. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided nearly $1.5 billion to address the opioid crisis and support individuals in recovery. Both governments have launched complementary education campaigns to provide information about the dangers of fentanyl, the risks and consequences of mixing drugs, the life-saving power of naloxone, and the importance of reducing the stigma of drug use to support treatment and recovery.

Mexico's National Strategy for the Prevention of Addictions (ENPA) reached more than 25 million people through preventive and community-based activities. A binational panel of public health experts was jointly established to exchange best practices, improve surveillance tools and monitor drug use trends.

Together we built forensic capacity to identify victims of enforced disappearance, more effective law enforcement, and justice delivery for victims of gender-based violence and strengthened our shared commitment to protecting journalists from criminal organizations through the Comprehensive Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. We worked together to reduce impunity for high-impact crimes, including homicides.

Intensified efforts to prevent transnational criminal organizations from harming both countries. Implemented mirror patrols along our shared border to disrupt narcotics and weapons trafficking and human smuggling.

The Department of Justice created Joint Task Force Alpha, which increased coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement partners, including Mexico and Central America, to dismantle human smuggling networks. In 2021, the United States prosecuted 5,046 individuals for human smuggling, an increase of 23% compared to 2020, and arrested four individuals suspected of involvement in the deaths of 53 migrants in San Antonio, Texas, in June.

Strengthened police cooperation and bilateral information sharing have supported both countries' drug interdiction efforts.

Mexico doubled cocaine seizures and arrested dozens of organized crime leaders.