WASHINGTON - Following a visit to the Mexico-Guatamala border region, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, received an "International Merit Award" from Mexican President Pena Nieto at the Presentation of the Gendarmerie Division, a 400- person unit that will assist in combating crime and increasing safety on the U.S.-Mexico border. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas S. Winkowski were also in attendance.
"Mexico's commitment to security and the creation of the Gendarmerie Division will not only enhance relations at the U.S.-Mexico border, it will enhance partnerships at all levels of government between the two countries,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “It is an honor to receive this award in recognition of our partnership.”
Through Merida Initiative funding, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is developing a program to provide border enforcement training and equipment to the Gendarmerie Division. Training is expected to begin in January.
Commissioner Kerlikowske met with Undersecretary for North American Affairs, Dr. Sergio Alcocer, at the Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE) to discuss topics related to reducing incidences of border violence and creating a joint working group to address related themes.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.