US ambassador reveals that Mexico rejected US material against arms trafficking

Christopher Landau, who will leave his post in the next few days at the same time as Donald Trump, considered that "more can be done on both sides of the border"
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REUTERS/LUIS CORTES  -   A Mexican Army soldier guards the crime scene after the attempted assassination of Mexico City police chief Omar Garcia Harfuch

The Mexican government rejected U.S. material to control arms trafficking on the joint borders, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, said Thursday.

"We have offered to donate to the Mexican government non-intrusive equipment to control arms trafficking at the borders, and it has not been accepted", said Landau, according to various local media with whom the diplomat shared a conference restricted to the Mexican press.

The ambassador, who will leave his post in the next few days at the same time as US President Donald Trump, considered that "more can be done on both sides of the border" to stop this criminal activity.

"I think that, for many people in Mexico, this point about weapons is just one thing that is done to scold the United States. I do believe there is more we can do (the United States) and there is more Mexico can do as well," he said.

Landau's words came after the Mexican Foreign Ministry on Wednesday expressed its willingness to prioritise cooperation on this issue when Joe Biden takes office as US president.

The still-ambassador, who recalled the failed arrest by Mexican authorities of drug trafficker Ovidio Guzman, son of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, also revealed that his country had offered to extradite arms traffickers to Mexico.

That offer, according to the Mexican press, was made by former U.S. Attorney General William Barr during his visits to Mexico.

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PHOTO/REUTERS - Members of the Mexican National Guard stand aside after migrants from Mexico and Guatemala were detained after attempting to cross into the United States at the US-Mexico border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

"We never received a request for extradition during my administration. I was very sorry because I would have liked to see one," Landau said.

The diplomat also spoke of the arrest of Mexican general and former defence minister Salvador Cienfuegos, who was detained in the United States without warning the Mexican authorities, which led to a disagreement between Trump and his friend and Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

"Both countries are big and have big governments, big bureaucracies, with many different components that sometimes do not communicate as they should with each other, and frankly that was the case here," he explained about a case that ended with Cienfuegos being transferred to Mexican soil, where he is currently free of charges.

However, Landau encouraged both governments to continue fighting organised crime jointly, because there is "no other alternative".

Christopher Landau, a 57-year-old lawyer appointed in August 2019 by Trump, will leave his post as US ambassador to Mexico on 20 January, the same day Biden takes office, and will leave behind a year and a half of controversial management due to some statements, but with great popularity thanks to his activity on social networks.