Mexico Beefs Up Fight Against Drugs

Mexico Beefs Up Fight Against Drugs
Posted by FoM on January 27, 2000 at 09:25:05 PT
Mexican officials have announced intensified plans
Source: CNN Interactive
Mexico seized three tons of cocaine from a fishing boat as officials announced the nation is intensifying its campaign to fight drug trafficking. The Naval Ministry announced Wednesday the drug had been seized from the Mexican-flagged "Valeria," 152 miles south of the port of Lazaro Cardenas. It was not clear when the seizure took place. Mexican officials had been tipped off by U.S. authorities. 
The six arrested crew members of the fishing boat tried to sink the vessel and set it on fire when they saw the Navy vessel approach. The U.S. Coast Guard participated in the operation. About 4.3 billion pesos ($449.1 million) will be spent by the Mexican government to fight narcotics traffickers this year, a 176 percent increase over 1999, Interior Minister Diodoro Carrasco announced Wednesday. "The government reaffirms its decision to fight organized crime and drug trafficking, which constitute a threat to national security," Carrasco told a news conference. Two-thirds of the cocaine entering the United States from South America -- mainly from Colombia -- is smuggled through Mexico, according to U.S. drug enforcement officials. Mexican Drug Traffickers Becoming Powerful:Mexican drug cartels are now viewed as more powerful than their Colombian counterparts. Drug enforcement agencies also say Mexico has become a center for money launderers off-loading profits from the drug trade. The anti-drug budget was announced just about a month before Mexico will learn whether it has passed an annual U.S. certification process as an ally in the war on drugs. The extent to which the United States gives aid to Mexico can depend on the certification. The Mexican government argues that its anti-narcotics efforts have never been more intense. As an example, Mexican officials point to an arrest warrant issued for state governor Mario Villanueva on charges he is linked to drug smugglers. He has not yet been caught. U.S. and Mexican officials have also announced a joint operation to uncover the remains of victims of a Mexican drug cartel in Ciudad Juarez. Nine bodies have been recovered so far. Analyst Disputes Success Claims:But drugs continue to flow through the porous U.S.-Mexican border.  Officials say cocaine continues to flow to the United States from South America:   "Everything suggests the results are not very good and in that sense, I don't think we have reason to be optimistic about the success of the Mexican government in fighting drugs," said local analyst Jorge Chabat. There is also resentment among Latin-American governments about the way the U.S. Congress evaluates efforts made by drug-producing countries to curb the flow of illegal narcotics, Chabat said. The U.S. strategy is to measure efforts, Chabat said -- not final results. During the past five years Mexican authorities have seized 142.3 tons of cocaine and 5.5 tons of marijuana. Mexico City Bureau Chief Harris Whitbeck, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.Web Posted: January 27, 2000MEXICO CITY (CNN)  2000 Cable News Network Related Articles:Mexico Hails Its Progress in Battling Drugs - 1/27/2000 Of Death - Time Magazine - 12/12/99 Debate Heating Up On Drugs, Mexico - 12/02/99 McCaffrey Hails Mexican Drug Fight - 11/10/99
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on January 27, 2000 at 10:09:41 PT
Tons and tons and tons...
When the WoSD began in 1914, the 'Biggest Haul Ever!' was measured in pounds. By the 20's, the 'Biggest Haul Ever!' was measured in scores of pounds. By the 40's it was hundreds of pounds. Today, seizures are measured in thousands of pounds. Thousands. We're talking tons here. Tons. And that is perhaps only five percent of the actual product. And that based upon the *old* figures given by the DEA, which has said a few months ago that it has been regularly *under*estimating the amount of hard drugs entering this country. By a factor of two or perhaps three. So in actuality, the percentage that has been interdicted ranges somewhere around 1-2%. 17 billion dollars a year, and only at most 2% taken off the street. I guess this is why 'social promotion' of kids through the school system is such a bad idea: evidently, those who think we can win this war need to go back to grade school. They are having a very hard time doing the very simple math necessary to realize their's is a forlorn hope. 
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