Mr. Obama spoke Monday after a White House summit with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mexico's war against drug gangs fighting for turf near the U.S. border was a major topic at the talks.
Mr. Obama said that when innocent families, including women and children, are gunned down in the streets, it is everybody's problem.
“Criminal gangs and narco traffickers pose a threat to each of our nations. And each of our nations has a responsibility to meet that threat.”
President Calderon said Mexico cannot stop the violence without halting gun trafficking. He called on the United States to renew an assault weapons ban. He said the ban's expiration in 2004 coincided with the rise in drug-related violence in his country.
About 50,000 people have been killed since 2006, when President Calderon sent the army into northern Mexico to tackle the drug gangs.
The three North American leaders also talked about the economy and trade. They spoke about the need to strip away regulations that they say stifle trade.
Prime Minister Harper said Canada has no immediate plans to scrap visa requirements for Mexican visitors. He said that is the only tool Canada currently has to effectively deal with what he calls large-scale phony refugee claims.
The White House summit was the last for the three leaders, as Mr. Calderon's term ends in December and term limits bar him from re-election. Mr. Obama is up for re-election in November. VoA.
Under the Obama Administration, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the ATF to have gun dealers sell weapons to known Drug Cartel mules for illegal export into Mexico. Those weapons in turn were used to kill US citizens and Law Enforcement Officers. This was known as "Operation Fast and Furious" and was opposed by ATF agents, as well as the Licensed Firearms Dealers, who were told to comply.
The rise of drug cartels in Mexico followed the decades long war on drugs and communist narco-terrorists in Colombia. Between 1998 and 2004, the Colombian government suppressed the bulk of illicit drug cartels in that country.