Monday, September 25, 2006


This is rich

Mexican leader knocks U.S. crime rates

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Mexican President Vicente Fox said Friday that violence was a problem on both sides of the border and that U.S. officials need to work on their own rising crime rates.

U.S. officials have criticized the high murder and kidnapping rates in Mexican border cities and the danger they pose to Americans. The U.S. ambassador recently advised U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution when traveling in Mexico.

"There is work to be done on both sides. As we've always said, it's a shared responsibility," Fox said while traveling in Puerto Penasco, a tourist destination in the northern state border of Sonora that's referred to in Arizona as Rocky Point.

"I saw that crime rates in the United States increased 3.5 percent so far this year. So they have their own problems," Fox said. "And with numbers of homicides, it's better we don't speak about them, because, even though they show up on the front pages every day, there are many fewer here than there."

On Thursday, high-level Mexican and U.S. officials agreed to redouble efforts to crack down on drug-related violence and kidnappings plaguing the border. They met in Laredo, Texas, across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo.

Scores of U.S. citizens have been abducted in Nuevo Laredo in recent years and more than two dozen cases remain unresolved.