Mexico says it shares U.S. concern for violence on border

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY- Mexico's government shares U.S. concerns about a wave of violence in northern Mexico linked to organized crime, a spokesman for President Vicente Fox said Wednesday.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza on Tuesday called on Mexico to do more to bring safety and security to the U.S.-Mexico border, citing 100 violent deaths along the border since June and the deaths of 18 Nuevo Laredo policemen so far this year.

"We share the concern about the levels of violence in the northern part of the country," presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar said at a news conference. "We reiterate the need to elevate the levels of cooperation in the border zone, and reiterate _ as Ambassador Garza put it _ that it is a shared responsibility of both countries."

Aguilar read aloud passages of Garza's recent comments that praised the Fox administration for deploying federal agents and soldiers in border cities to combat gangs and drug traffickers.

The U.S. advisory is the third this year requested by Garza.

The past two warnings angered Mexico, which relies heavily on U.S. tourism and bristles at criticism from its powerful northern neighbor. But Fox's office appeared to take the new advisory in stride.

"Every country has the rights to analyze the situation as they wish," Aguilar said.

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