The Attorney General Alliance is a cooperative program involving the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), Council of State Governments, National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other public and private entities aimed at strengthening the legal systems of both the United States and Mexico.
The Attorney General Alliance projects focus on such initiatives as reinforcing court systems with greater efficiency and transparency; running training programs that promote a consistent application of Rule of Law disciplines, such as oral advocacy; and promoting collaboration among state attorneys general from both countries.
The AGA — in conjunction with NAAG, Mexico’s Federal Attorney General’s Office, Mexico’s National Conference of Attorneys General and Mexico state attorneys general — help establish and nurture cross-jurisdictional cooperation on many law enforcement issues, from consumer fraud and piracy to drug trafficking and money laundering. The ultimate goal is to ensure that law enforcement and judicial officials are able to work together in ways that apply a consistent Rule of Law focus across jurisdictions in U.S. and Mexican states.
A Track Record of Success
Since its establishment in 2006, The Attorney General Alliance has achieved unprecedented tangible results on both sides of the border. A decade of collaborative efforts between the states of New Mexico and Chihuahua, for example, inspired a promising template for state-to-state skill focused trainings. The cultivation of expanded relationships led to bi-national efforts such as the New Mexico State Legislature enacting legislation aimed at criminalizing human trafficking; Arizona and several other state legislatures are now considering similar legislation. Colorado’s training efforts with Mexico led to a joint ICE-Colorado Attorney General’s Office apprehension of a murder fugitive and, in a multi-jurisdictional effort led by former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, to a $50 million money laundering settlement.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ALLIANCE INITIATIVES AND GOALS
- At the request of the Department of State (USAID then INL), the Attorneys General initiated and implemented relationships which leverage the unique relationships and experiences of U.S. State Attorneys General with State Attorneys General in Mexico.
- Attorneys General have developed trust, collaborative efforts such direct communication regarding investigations which lead to successful extraditions and prosecutions on State-to-State levels in Mexico and the U.S.
- AGA distinguishes itself from other capacity training endeavors through the peer-to-peer experienced based prosecutors and law enforcement personnel. Attorney General staffs share a common responsibility to pursue justice, promote institutions which sustain the Rule of Law and enhance civil-society support for governance.
- AGA has developed institutional relationships which provide continuity in communications, programming and within the United States and Mexico regardless of political machinations in either country. The programs law enforcement based focus fosters non-partisan support in both countries.
- As a supplement to the highly effective but cost-intensive peer-to-peer trainings and spurred by requests for technical assistance from Mexican law enforcement, AGA leveraged INL funding to coordinate distance learning programming within Mexico. AGA also developed an online training component for the capacity trainings.
- AGA has 42 United States State Attorneys General’s Offices participating in the training of Mexican State Attorneys General Offices and other Mexican justice and law enforcement entities.
- AGA has 32 participating Mexican jurisdictions and 10 additional Mexican federal and State partnering agencies.