NEWS

Security Aid Slow to Reach Mexico

By Laura Spadanuta

 

Only about 59 percent of the security training and equipment aid promised to Mexico by President Bush back in 2008 has made it to the country, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  The aid was to be part of the Merida Initiative, which is a partnership between the United States and Mexico to fight organized crime and violence.

According to the article, only $423 million worth of aircraft, surveillance equipment, and training has reached Mexico's "beleaguered" security forces.  Both President Bush's administration and President Obama's administration have attempted to accelerate the aid but the article cites bureaucratic bottlenecks as holding things up.

The Bush and Obama administrations got mired in protracted U.S.-Mexico negotiations to protect Mexico's sense of sovereignty, and also had to deal with a cumbersome bureaucracy, congressional reporting requirements and elaborate administrative procedures.

"Deliveries of big-ticket items have been very, very slow," said Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at Washington, D.C.'s Woodrow Wilson International Center.

Additionally, the article cites sources stating that Mexico wants "game-changing technology," rather than easier to procure items, which means it must compete with places such as the Middle East for the shipments. 

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