Saturday, February 18, 2012

Obama asks Congress for another $244 million towards Mexican drug war effort

More cash headed south, most of it continued Mérida Initiative funding

On Monday (Feb. 13) the president asked Congress to approve a $234 million package under the the Mérida Initiative, a 2007 agreement between the United States and Mexico which provides for U.S. training and equipping of Mexican military and police forces, plus intelligence gathering and sharing. On Dec. 31, U.S. funding of the Mérida Initiative was at $900 million, over half of the $1.6 billion budgeted by Congress in 2008.

Of the latest sum, $199 million is earmarked for direct anti-drug trafficking purposes -- mostly in the way of military equipment and training -- and another $35 million in economic development aid. Obama is also seeking a separate $10 million for U.S. Dept. of Justice programs targeted at cartel investigations and international organized crime intelligence operations. Finally, the White House asked Congress to approve $10 billion in fiscal 2013 programs directed towards the reduction of drug consumption in the United States -- which the president admits is responsible for Mexico's drug war, as well as for spiraling Latin American conflicts which governments in the region say are due to narcotics trafficking (

In his transmittal message to Congress, Obama said "A stable Mexico will enhance the national security of the United States, promote economic development in the country and protect U.S. citizens, especially along our shared border." The 2013 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2012.

On Dec. 17, 2011 the House of Representatives approved $248.5 million to be applied to the Mérida Initiative in current fiscal year 2012, which ends Sept. 30. The House approved a separate $33.5 million to be used for economic development projects in Mexico. Story:

DEA: Calderón drug strategy producing results:
Calderon responds to drug war critics:
U.S. ambassador to Mexico thinks Mérida Initiative is best option:
"We're not talking about alms here":
Mexico has invested $21 billion of its own in drug war, says State Dept.:


Mérida summit tells U.S. to reduce drug usage, check weapons flow:
United States is 9% stoned, say two U.S. senators:
Mexico's Continuing Agony:
Honduras "invaded by drug traffickers":
"Almost bankrupt" Guatemala calls for U.S. help:
Guatemalan army joins drug war:
U.S. Peace Corps flees Honduras:
Mitt Romney talks tough on U.S. drug usage:

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