Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

Mexico-US hold extradition talks

File picture of Mexican anti-narcotics police
The US and Mexico have stepped up co-operation against drugs trafficking

Mexico's attorney general is meeting his American counterpart in Washington, a day after the US announced a record number of extraditions from Mexico.

Arturo Chavez and US Attorney General Eric Holder are expected to discuss further co-operation in the extradition of suspected criminals to the US.

Eleven fugitives were transferred over the Mexican border on Sunday, bringing the total extradited this year to 100.

The US says this is a sign of increased co-operation between the two countries.

The US justice department said the 11 fugitives transferred across the border on Saturday brought the total for 2009 to "the highest yearly number of extraditions from Mexico to date".

The 11 had all been indicted or charged in the US for alleged crimes including sex offences, drug trafficking, money laundering and murder, the justice department said.

Serious punishment

In a statement on Sunday, Mr Holder said: "By ensuring that alleged criminals are held accountable, we send a strong message that fleeing across the border does not mean you will escape justice."

The US attorney general said Monday's talks with Mr Chavez would focus on "additional ways we as law enforcement partners can work together to hold such defendants, particularly alleged leaders and associates of drug cartels, accountable".

The BBC's Stephen Gibbs in Mexico City says the record extradition figures reflect an increasing trend for Mexico to allow those accused of drug and other serious crimes to be tried in the US.

Drug traffickers in particular have been known to operate their business from inside Mexican prisons, our correspondent says, and escapes are commonplace.

That being the case, American prisons are thought to provide a more serious punishment for offenders, he says.

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