$1.4 mn US aid to Mexico to fight drug traffickingDecember 4th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS
Mexico City, Dec 4 (IANS) Mexico has signed an agreement with the US for a $1.4 million aid package to fight drug trafficking in the country, EFE reported Thursday.The accord was signed Wednesday by US envoy to Mexico Tony Garza and Mexican deputy foreign secretary Carlos Rico.
The funds being provided under the so-called Merida Initiative will be used to buy equipment and technology and to train Mexican law enforcement agencies to strengthen their capacity to fight transnational organized crime.
Garza said the Merida Initiative, besides funds, provided for coordination between the two governments to fight the drug cartels.
Some Mexican sectors have criticized the project, which they fear could lead to the militarization of the country and increased violations of human rights by security forces that are already notorious for such abuses.
The wave of violence perpetrated by the drug cartels has taken some 8,000 lives in the first two years of the government of right-wing President Felipe Calderon, with the current year accounting for 5,000 killings.