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Reagan, de la Madrid Said to Agree to Cooperate in War on Drugs

February 23, 1985

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ President Miguel de la Madrid and President Reagan have agreed that Mexican and U.S. authorities should cooperate more closely in the fight against the illegal drug trade, an official announcement said.

The two heads of state talked by telephone on Friday amid concern about the kidnapping earlier this month of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent in Guadalajara, 320 miles northwest of here.

A communique from the Mexican presidential press office described the presidents’ phone conversation as ″very cordial and friendly″ and said it ″lasted for several minutes.″

As an initial step, it said, the presidents agreed that U.S. Attorney General William French Smith and Attorney General Sergio Garcia Ramirez of Mexico should meet to plan a joint strategy. It gave no details.

Diplomatic sources, who spoke on condition they not be identified, said de la Madrid called Reagan to discuss a travel advisory U.S. authorities reportedly planned to issue to warn Americans of dangers in the Guadalajara area.

There were fears here that such a travel advisory could damage Mexico’s tourist trade, the country’s second-largest source of income after petroleum.

The communique said de la Madrid assured Reagan that Mexican authorities were doing everything possible to fight drug trafficking, and mentioned ″the number of Mexican police killed in recent days″ in battles against drug dealers.

It said Reagan promised the Mexican president that stepped-up inspections of vehicles by U.S. authorities that have virtually paralyzed traffic and trade along the 1,760-mile border ″would soon be lifted.″ U.S. authorities have said the inspections were to search for clues of the missing drug agent.

There was no immediate comment from the White House. On Friday, U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, said he was told by U.S. Customs officials that the exhaustive inspections would end this weekend.

Earlier Friday, Garcia Ramirez said Mexican police were using ″all the resources at their disposal″ in their search for the missing agent, 37-year- old Enrique Camarena Salazar.

Camarena was abducted at gunpoint Feb. 7 near the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara.

There have been accusations in the United States that Mexico is not doing enough to find him, and the Reagan administration summoned its ambassador, John Gavin, back to Washington this week for consultations on the safety of Americans in Mexico.

Garcia Ramirez gave no details concerning the progress of the case, saying that would ″frustrate the investigation.″ But he said both federal police and authorities in Guadalajara were giving ″maximum attention″ to the ″troubling event.″

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