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Drug Czar Says His Focus Has Fallen More On Juarez Than Tijuana

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Aired 5/19/10

The U.S. Drug Czar toured the San Diego-Tijuana border Tuesday. The director of the Office Of Drug Control Policy says he heard a lot of praise for the border fence.

The U.S. drug czar toured the San Diego-Tijuana border Tuesday. The director of the Office Of Drug Control Policy says he heard a lot of praise for the border fence.

Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske says it was his first lengthy visit to California's border with Mexico.

He says he's been more focused on the Texas-Mexico border, and especially Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso. Mexico's drug war there has claimed about 700 lives so far this year.

"Here, the fence and the amount of attention the Border Patrol has been able to give to this area, according to everyone I talked to, has made a significant difference and improvement," said Kerlikowske.

However, he did take notice that the fence doesn't stop all drug smuggling.

He says one of the things he found unique about this stretch of the border is how smugglers circumvent the fence by using the Pacific Ocean.

Federal law enforcement authorities says more than three tons of marijuana were smuggled on small boats from Baja California to San Diego last year.

Smugglers have also found their way under and over the fence.

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