President Obama has said urgent and coordinated action is needed between the United States and Mexico in the continuing battle against the drug cartels.
At a press conference in Mexico City, Mr Obama said he would push the US senate to ratify a small arms trafficking treaty to stem the flow of weapons crossing the border into Mexico that is fuelling the bloodshed.
Mr Obama, who held talks with his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, acknowledged that America, as a consumer of cocaine, shares responsibility for the violence which has killed more than six thousand people in Mexico over the last year.
The BBC's Emilio San Pedro has been to Atlanta, which the US anti-drug authorities say has now become the Mexican cartels' main drug trafficking hub in the eastern United States.
Ana Maria Salazar was a White House official under the Clinton administration and is now a broadcaster and commentator in Mexico.
First broadcast 17 April 2009