US official: Strong economy may fix border

"We must stand side by side with our Mexican partners, those who are trying to build a new Mexico, an honest Mexico"

By Chris Roberts
El Paso Times

EL PASO — As Mexico struggles to transform from "a soft dictatorship to a democracy," the United States must keep violence from spilling over while ensuring that job-creating commercial traffic flows freely, says the top official in charge of protecting this nation's borders.

Mexico is at a turning point, said Alan Bersin, head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As Mexican President Felipe Calderon sends federal and military personnel into towns where grisly executions have become ordinary, drug cartels escalate the violence, Bersin said Friday.

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