Washington Post, 4/5/2009
After promising $1.4 billion last year under a landmark initiative to help fight drug trafficking in Mexico, the U.S. government has spent almost none of the money, fanning criticism on both sides of the border that the United States is failing to respond quickly to the deepening crisis.
A closer examination shows that just two small projects under Merida — the delivery of high-speed computer servers in December and an arms-trafficking workshop attended by senior U.S. officials at a Mexican resort last week — have been completed.
U.S. officials acknowledged that about $7 million from the aid package has been spent — mostly on administration and planning. The most critical items, a $50 million surveillance plane and five rapid-response helicopters, may take as long as two years to deliver.