Question by Beach Girl: Do we have1.4 billion to waste to help Mexico battle violent drug gangs, but the money will be largely ?
The U.S. government is vowing to spend .4 billion to help Mexico battle violent drug gangs, but the money will be largely wasted if authorities here don’t cut the ties between police forces and organized crime, security analysts say.

U.S. and Mexican officials on Monday announced the so-called “Merida Initiative,” which U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza described as “the single most aggressive undertaking ever to combat Mexican drug cartels.”

The plan’s success, however, may hinge on whether it includes an effective strategy to tackle the corruption that has corroded large parts of Mexico’s local and federal police forces.

If it does not, Mexico will simply go from having “a corrupt and badly equipped police force to a corrupt and well-equipped police force,” said Jorge Chabat, a Mexican national security analyst and drug expert.

The latest example of how deep-pocketed drug traffickers have warped local law enforcement came earlier this month when agents detained 25 federal police officers in the northern border state of Tamaulipas on suspicion of providing protection for the Gulf drug cartel.

Erubiel Tirado, a national security and diplomacy expert at Mexico City’s Iberoamericana University, said the Merida plan’s emphasis on equipment and training of Mexican forces sends a clear message.

“There’s no confidence in our institutional infrastructure, which is precisely the origin of the crisis we’re going through,” he said.

President Bush asked Congress on Monday to approve funding for the plan’s first 0 million installment. If approved, it would make Mexico the second biggest recipient of U.S. security and anti-drug aid after Colombia, which has received billion under Plan Colombia. Critics of the new plan have dubbed it “Plan Mexico.”

Unlike the Colombia initiative, though, the Mexico proposal does not involve putting U.S. troops on Mexican soil. Instead, it would pay for such things as helicopters and surveillance aircraft, “nonintrusive inspection equipment” and drug-sniffing dogs.

Mexican opposition politicians have nevertheless raised concerns that it would violate Mexican sovereignty and pledged to oppose Mexico’s plan to spend billion over three years to the fight against organized crime.

Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa was to appear before the Senate later Wednesday to provide lawmakers with details on the initiative.

Best answer:

Answer by B.Kevorkian
Yes, the US government can waste a billion here or there and hardly notice.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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