US Cuts Anti-Drug, Military Aid to Latin America

In Sight: Organized Crime in the Americas, 2/14/12

The US State Department’s proposed 2013 budget will reduce military and anti-drug aid to Latin America, including to the traditional largest recipients, Colombia and Mexico.

US military and police aid for Latin America and the Caribbean will total $946 million for the 2013 fiscal year, according to a database kept by Just the Facts. This is a cut of about 10 percent from 2012. Of this, $432.4 million will come from the US State Department, according to the proposed budget. This includes $155 million for Colombia and $35 million for Mexico.

The US State Department also requested $85.2 million for other countries in the Western Hemisphere, $26.2 million of which will fall under the primary security initiative for Central America, known as CARSI, with another $47.5 million falling under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

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Mexico solicited presence of CIA agents in the country, says Washington (in Spanish)

CNN México, 8/16/11

El gobierno de México solicitó que agentes de Estados Unidos realizaran acciones en el país, afirmó este martes el subsecretario de Estado estadounidense, William Burns, una semana después de que un reporte periodístico indicara que elementos de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA, por sus siglas en inglés) laboran en territorio mexicano en actividades como el interrogatorio de sospechosos.

Burns —segundo al mando en el Departamento de Estado, debajo de Hillary Clinton— aseguró en conferencia de prensa en la embajada estadounidense en México que esas acciones están dentro de la ley, respetan la soberanía mexicana y no interfieren con las tareas de seguridad pública de las autoridades.

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New Issue: Country Terrorism Reports 2009

The U.S. Department of State produces Country Reports on Terrorism every year which aim to assess international terrorist threats in order to better the general publics understanding and to serve as a tool for policymakers. The 2009 report released on August 5, 2010 covers January 1 to December 31, 2009.

The following are excerpts from the Mexico section of Chapter 2: Western Hemisphere Overview. Notably, these passages highlight the absence of international terrorist organizations in Mexico as well as President Calderón’s efforts to quell violence, some of which is the result of “Cartels increasingly [using] military-style terrorist tactics to attack security forces.”

The Mexican government remained highly committed to the fight against organized crime and remained vigilant against domestic and international terrorist threats. No known international terrorist organizations had an operational presence in Mexico and no terrorist incidents targeting U.S. interests and personnel occurred on or originated from Mexican territory. Mexico continued to confront well-armed, organized crime elements in several regions of the country and traditional hot spots for narcotics trafficking saw record levels of violence.

Cartels increasingly used military-style terrorist tactics to attack security forces. There was no evidence of ties between Mexican organized crime syndicates and domestic or international terrorist groups.

To read the full report, please click here for the PDF version or here for the website.

Corruption in Mexico affects the war on drugs, warns U.S. (in Spanish)

El Universal, 2/27/2009

Today the United States recognized “the courage and valor” demonstrated by the Mexican government in the merciless fight against the drug cartels, but warned that “the corruption and impunity” continue to be the principle obstacles in a war in which society is “paying the highest price”.

“Corruption throughout the public institutions of Mexico continues to be the principal impediment to successfully reducing the power of the drug cartels,” it is warned in the annual report by the State Department on the international narcotics control strategy where it is stressed that the country not only continues to be one of the principal transit routes for the exportation of cocaine and other precursor chemicals, but has also turned into a worrisome hotspot for violence.

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U.S. says Mexico makes progress against drug cartels

Reuters, 2/27/2009

mexicos-war-on-drugsMexico has made headway in its struggle against the country’s powerful drug cartels, but the crackdown has led to more violence as criminal gangs battle for diminishing profits, the United States said on Friday.

The State Department’s annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report also said Afghanistan slashed opium poppy cultivation by 19 percent in 2008 after two years of record highs.

But drug trafficking and poppy cultivation continued to fuel insurgencies in Afghanistan’s less secure southern areas, it said.

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Washington condemns impunity in the country (in Spanish)

El Universal, 2/26/2009

In Mexico, “impunity is generalized” and the problem of corruption in all levels of government continues to persist, especially among police forces. where in certain cases police, including high-level officials, “act directly in the name of organized crime.”

It is a setting where there exist illegal assassinations perpetrated by the armed forces, torture, arbitrary detentions, inefficiency of the judicial system, and a series of crimes related to human trafficking with indications of participation by authorities.

This is the finding released yesterday by the United States Department of State in its annual report report on the human rights situation throughout the world. In the report, the U.S. foreign office concluded that the Mexican government’s war against the drug cartels has exacted a high cost from Mexican society, a group which is often caught in the crossfire between drug traffickers and armed forces.

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