Friday, July 23, 2010

Beware Americans Bearing Gifts

This week saw the release of a General Accounting Office Report on the Merida Initiative. The Merida Initiative is a coordinated drug interdiction effort between the United States, Mexico, and Central American countries. It's a $1.8 billion fund set up in 2007.

News outlets in the United States reported with some curiosity as to why less than ten percent of the funds have been spent.

What the outlets didn't report was what the funds that were spent actually bought, or were about to be delivered.

So, here's the list of materiel being funneled to Mexico through the State Department and its embassy in Mexico City. (We're leaving out the training aspects to Mexican government agencies identified by the audit.) The list follows the division articulated by the GAO into what's about to be delivered (page 8 of the report) and what is pending delivery (page 25 of the report.)

Already Delivered

26 armored vehicles
62 Plataforma Mexico computer servers
Training Equipment
5 x-ray vans
OASSIS servers and software
Biometric equipment
Document verification software
Ballistic tracing equipment (IBIS)
30 ion scanners
Rescue communication equipment and training
Personal protective equipment
5 Bell helicopters
10 mobile X-ra minivans
Constanza software
100 Polygraph units
13 armored suburbans

Pending Delivery

218 Polygraph units
2 Railroad x-ray inspection units
2 Bell helicopters
3 Black Hawk helicopters (SSP)
Mobile Gamma Radiation trucks
3 Black Hawk helicopters (SEMAR)
4 CASA Airplanes
Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft
3 to 5 Black Hawk helicopters (SSP)
Additional equipment for Mexican national data system
Additional equipment for Mexican Communication and Transportation Secretariat
1 Bell helicopter

It seems that the military-prison-industrial complex is alive and well in Mexico. With our help.

But the point is that notwithstanding the helicopters, polygraph machines, and armored suburbans given by the U.S., the body count in the Mexican drug war continues to rise.

Maybe its time to start thinking about the true costs of prohibition? And search for a different way out of Mexico's 25,000 cadaver quagmire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This machine runs off of greed and fear. It's time to put an end to the machine. Legalize the Green!