Tags: Mexico | drugs | fund | US

U.S. Slow in Sending Mexico Anti-drug Aid Funds

Friday, 04 December 2009 10:22 AM

MEXICO CITY - The United States has spent a fraction of the money pledged -- just $24 million of $1.3 billion appropriated -- to help Mexico in its bloody three-year-old battle against the drug cartels that have turned parts of country into a war zone and left 15,000 dead, according to a U.S. government report issued Thursday.

The Merida Initiative, signed by President George W. Bush and Mexican leader Felipe Calderón in 2007, promises Black Hawk helicopters, night-vision goggles and drug-sniffing dogs, as well as a more robust crime-fighting partnership between the United States and Mexico. So far the United States has delivered 2 percent of the equipment and support promised, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office.

The perception of a slow flow of aid has rankled some in the Calderón government and fueled criticism here that the United States, which spends billions consuming illegal drugs, is fiddling while 50,000 Mexican soldiers and police officers are fighting in the streets to confront powerful criminal organizations that threaten Mexico's national security.

The Merida Initiative did not lay out a specific timeline for delivering the U.S. assistance, but the report made clear that the pace of spending was lagging.

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Friday, 04 December 2009 10:22 AM
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