$1.2 billion promised for border infrastructure and the fight against drugs

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) – Mexico and the United States have announced 14 projects along the border to improve infrastructure with a price tag of $1.2 billion.

The aim of the projects is to speed up border crossings while improving security.

The work should be completed by the end of 2023.

The announcement was made at a press conference attended by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard Thursday in Tijuana.

Baja California Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila was also implicated.

Salazar said the plan is to speed up border crossings and counter the flow of guns, money and weapons using better technology.

“It’s a historic day,” Salazar said. “The two countries will work together to make the border between the two countries more secure while allowing trade to flow faster.”

One of the projects includes work on Otay II, which will become the third major border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.

Others include upgrades to ports of entry, including Mexicali-Calexico, San Luis I, Agua Prieta, Cordova de las Americas, Santa Teresa, the Laredo International Bridge, and a new crossing at Nogales.

“All of these projects are at different stages of construction, but we have received instructions to increase the speed of work, we will have meetings every month to discuss the progress of the work,” Ebrard said.

Ebrard added that the US-Mexico border is the busiest in the world in terms of crossings and will continue to be for decades.

“We’re going to try to do in a year, which we haven’t done in 18 years,” Ebrard said. “Another theme is technology, there are inequalities in connectivity, we need to make sure there is movement in this area to be able to provide more security.”

Another goal according to Ebrard and Salazar is to be more effective in the fight against fentanyl, weapons and money flowing south from the United States.

“We will use technology to reduce the fight against these illicit activities,” Ebrard said.

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