US releases first tranche of Plan Mexico funds
The US government released the first $197 million of the $400 million "Plan Mexico" aid package Dec. 3. At a signing ceremony in Mexico City, US Ambassador Tony Garza called the package "the most significant effort ever undertaken" by the US and Mexico to fight drugs. "The governments of the United States and Mexico will continue fighting against the scourge of drugs and drug trafficking, but to be successful we will need support from people on both sides of the border," Garza told reporters. Carlos Rico, Mexico's undersecretary for North American affairs, expressed his confidence that the Barack Obama administration will remain committed to the program, and that any human rights concerns can be resolved.
However, critics point out that it is US money and guns that sustain Mexico's bloody drug cartels. The Brookings Institution estimates that 2,000 guns enter Mexico from the US every day. The incoming Obama administration has show signs of moving to address this reality. "The US has to go after the flow of guns and bulk cash and stolen vehicles that go from north to south," said Dan Restrepo, a Latin America adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. "It's our responsibility to do far more than what we're doing to cut off those flows." (AP, Reuters, Dec. 4)
These comments will doubtless seized upon as a monstrous assault on the Second Amendment by the anti-Obama right.
See our last post on Mexico's narco wars.
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