The Motion Picture Assn. and music industry organization Amprofon have joined forces to form a new entity that aims to combat Mexico's rampant piracy.

Dubbed the Mexican Film and Music Protection Assn., the anti-piracy watchdog will be working closely with the federal attorney general's office in enforcement efforts and with Mexican customs officials as it looks to curb Regional 1 contraband from seeping across the porous U.S.-Mexico border.

The association will push for a government crackdown on illegal downloading, hard-goods piracy and camcorder recordings in theaters.

John Malcolm, director of the MPA's international anti-piracy operations, told reporters at a Tuesday news conference that camcorder piracy has become a growing problem in Mexico.

"Last year, 12 films were camcorded out of Mexican theaters," he said.

The MPA has been keeping a close watch on an anti-camcording bill that has long been stalled in Mexico's Congress. Currently, Mexico has no law in place that prohibits filming in movie theaters.

During his visit, Malcolm met with attorney general Eduardo Medina-Mora, Amprofon chief executive Fernando Hernandez, and Jaime Campos, who will head up the new organization.

Mexico ranks among the world's top 10 markets in piracy rates. The MPA estimates that its member companies in Mexico lost $483 million in 2005 due to black market sales.

In February, MPAA chairman Dan Glickman met with President Felipe Calderon to pressure the Mexican government to step up its anti-piracy efforts.