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Informal Exchange With Reporters on Drug Trafficking

February 13, 1988

Q. Mr. President, are you surprised at the relationship that the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] had—the close relationship with Noriega [Commander of Panamanian Defense Forces] and the fact that so much of this drug dealing was going on, and he didn't report it, or they didn't?

The President. Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International], you know I'm not taking questions here. But on that—I'm not going to comment on something that is presently before the court, as it is now.

Q. Well, did you.—

Q. Mr. President, will you certify to Congress this month that Mexico has fully cooperated in drug enforcement?

The President. Well, we're going to be discussing a whole number of things here in our meetings, and—

Q. President De la Madrid says that demand is the big problem with this drug thing.

The President. Always has been.

Note: The exchange began at 12:50 p.m. at the Camino Real Hotel in Mazatlan, Mexico. Following the exchange, President Reagan met with President Miguel De la Madrid Hurtado.

Ronald Reagan, Informal Exchange With Reporters on Drug Trafficking Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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