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August 2007
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An obscene amount of money for Plan Mexico

$1.2 billion

A U.S. plan to help Mexico fight drug traffickers and their widening violence could cost as much as $1.2 billion over a three-year period, U.S. and Mexican officials close to the talks said Tuesday.
“That’s what’s on the table,” said one official speaking on condition of anonymity, though the official cautioned that talks are ongoing and anything can change.

$1.2 billion. You could send 60,000 kids through four years of college and pay for all their tuition and fees with that kind of money.
It’ll be used to pay for advanced weapons, plus aircraft and eavesdropping technology.
That’s right. Advanced weapons to use in your own country. That’s a recipe for disaster. You think the drug cartels can’t get hold of their own “advanced” weapons once they feel threatened? Then what do the civilians do? Hide? Escape? Cross the border?

The plan, formally called a “regional security initiative,” would represent a departure for the Mexican government, which has accepted only limited U.S. aid in the past out of a sense of nationalism and fears that more significant aid would come with strings attached.
It would also represent an acknowledgment by Mexico that its military-led offensive against drug traffickers is falling short of its goal of controlling violence.

Hmm, yeah. That didn’t work, did it? Could have told you that (I think I did). So since the military-led offensive didn’t work, let’s just pour more money and violence at the problem?
As usual, the DEA has its head stuck… somewhere.

Like other Latin American countries, Mexico faces tough challenges from drug traffickers who are battling over a $325 billion global drug market, said Anthony Placido, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s chief of intelligence and assistant administrator.
The counternarcotics financial plan is “not about money,” he said. “This is about what you can do with those dollars.”

???
I guess that means that we shouldn’t be thinking about the fact that it’s costing $1.2 billion, but rather about what that money will buy (weapons, corruption, violence?)

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