2/16/2006

US taxpayer money helping Mexican army smuggle drugs and humans

The U.S. government has sent more than $376 million to Mexico in the past decade for the Mexican military and police to help stop illegal alien and drug smugglers, guard against terrorists, and protect America's southern border, including $50 million due this year. The money that was quietly and unknowingly to the American public authorized through State and Defense departments to train and equip the Mexican military and police who has been repeatedly caught crossing into American territory to unsuccessfully help drug smugglers go undetected. The US taxpayer money helps funds helicopters, four-wheel-drive vehicles, trucks, all-terrain cycles, communications and detection equipment, binoculars, training Mexican in intelligence gathering and counterterrorism, computers and other equipment for the Mexican military and police.

This funding program should cease immediately, and the Mexican government needs to be placed on notice that any further incursions by its military or police will not be tolerated after reoccurring incidents on the border in which the Mexican military confronted and fired upon U.S. law-enforcement officers. If they have this kind of money to give away, there are better ways to spend it like school and more detention space. Mexico cannot control its own military, and it makes no sense to give them better weapons and equipment they can use to attack and threaten our own law-enforcement officers.

The 2006 budget request calls for the delivery of a telephone intercept system, which would give Mexico the ability to eavesdrop on suspected narcoterrorists, smugglers, both American and Mexican citizens, as well as high ranking officials of the American government all over the country. According to the State Department, the funds help the Mexican government respond to domestic Mexican threats, and equipping Mexican first-responders. Most of the 2006 funding request for about $28.1 million, comes from the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs for technical assistance, equipment and arms transfers, as well as programs to encourage the cultivation of legal crops and assistance for drug demand-reduction programs.

An additional $18.4 million is from the Defense Department's International Military Education and Training program, which provides counternarcotics assistance and training to foreign military personnel and police. The budget also includes $2.5 million for grants and loans to help Mexico purchase U.S.-produced weapons, defense equipment and military training; $1.1 million is for additional training for the Mexican secret police and an unknown number of civilians; and $450,000 to train military officers as part of the Regional Defense Counterterrorism Fellowship Program.

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