WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration announced yesterday that it has resumed sharing a wide range of financial information with Mexico with the aim of trying to catch money launderers, drug dealers, and terrorist financiers.
In April, the United States had suspended sharing such information with Mexico, dealing a blow to cross-border crime fighting, which had resulted in the arrests of several high-profile drug lords.
The US government did so after sensitive information provided by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network was leaked by Mexican officials.
The Treasury Department said yesterday that Mexico has since taken steps to safeguard sensitive financial information it receives from the United States and other countries.
''As Mexico has demonstrated their commitment to and recognizes the importance of holding the information we share to the utmost secrecy, we are pleased to reengage in our information-sharing relationship," said Treasury Secretary John Snow.
Officials in both countries monitor tens of thousands of financial transactions and share information on possible illegal activity.
What triggered the suspension last April was the leaking of confidential US information to the Mexican public during a political scandal in the country.
Mexican authorities have alleged that Mexico City's mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, violated the law by revealing the results of a US investigation of his former finance secretary, Gustavo Ponce.
Lopez Obrador has contended that the information he leaked was already public knowledge. The information was published in Mexican newspapers.
Ponce disappeared after clandestine videos of him gambling in Las Vegas were broadcast in Mexico. The videos were accompanied by anonymous reports describing Ponce's lavish spending in Las Vegas, allegedly with taxpayer money.
The steps taken by Mexico to improve the handling of sensitive financial information follow months of negotiations between the country and the United States, the Treasury said.