Modesto Bee, 9/27/2012

Despite ongoing violence south of the border, cooperation between Mexico and the United States has reached unprecedented levels.

At a luncheon Monday at a Washington think tank, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexican Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire touted how they’ve teamed up to fight drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and human smuggling. Simultaneously, they warned that progress could be stalled if not continued by the next administrations in both countries.

“I think the reality is there is more day-to-day cooperation on an operational level on very sensitive issues than we’ve ever seen before,” said Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which hosted the event. “At the same time, there is a great deal of distrust between and among agencies. And there are crises of trust and political taboos that are still hard to break.”