Schwarzenegger to Hold 'Hollywood' Meeting on Drugs

Friday, 30 May 2008 09:04 AM

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MEXICO CITY — Visiting California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will hold a Hollywood meeting on drugs and immigration between Mexican and US officials.

"We'll hold the meeting in Hollywood. It will be full of action, in true Hollywood style, and I really hope all the border governors will come to Hollywood for the meeting," he said in a translation of his speech provided by the Mexican government.

He scheduled the meeting for August 13-15.

Schwarzenegger and the governors of New Mexico, Texas and the six border Mexican states met Thursday with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at his office to discuss the spiralling, drug-related violence in Mexico and immigration issues.

Calderon, after the meeting, said "drug trafficking has been and still is the chief cause of border violence, which fundamentally stems from one clear fact: the US market for drugs is the biggest in the world."

Rival drug gangs battling for control of their turf have triggered a surge in bloodshed in the past few weeks in northern Mexico, with some 400 murders this year alone in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

At stake is access to the world's biggest market for narcotics, the United States.

On Thursday, eleven people were shot to death in Chihuahua state, in what police said was part of the continuing turf war between rival drug cartels. On Wednesday, eight bodies were found in Chihuahua and elsewhere in northern Mexico.

Calderon called on authorities on both sides of the border to "take on their responsibility" in the fight against drugs, adding that "organized crime is a mutual problem that requires joint strategies and responses."

"The fight Mexico is waging is costing the lives of Mexican police officers every day, even though the majority of (drug) consumers are American," said Calderon.

Seven federal police officers were killed Tuesday in a shootout with drug traffickers in northeastern Culiacan.

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