Asked how the United States works with a Mexican government that doesn’t seem to want to rein in the drug cartels, Menendez replied, “This is one of our great challenges. President López Obrador talked about, when the took office, kisses and not bullets. That’s not working very well. It is the cartels that run the border communities, not the government of Mexico. Mexico has a responsibility, first and foremost to its own citizens to establish safety and security within its own territory and to those who visit its country, as well.
“So we need to up dramatically our engagement in Mexico and it can’t be about economics and it has to be about safety and security, as well,” he continued. “I am afraid that we are headed in the wrong direction on that and on democracy questions, as well. This is a present danger that we have to deal with and we have to engage the Mexicans in a way that says you have to do a lot more in your security. We can help them and we have intelligence and other information we can share, but we need them to enforce in their own country.”