SEPTEMBER 20, 2007
Although the United States has given Mexico nearly $400 million to assist with its counter narcotics efforts hundreds of tons of illicit drugs still flow into this country annually from south of the border and smugglers rarely have their lucrative cargos seized.
The generous U.S. funding has essentially been wasted on a government well known for its rampant corruption and for promoting rather than curbing the production and trafficking of drugs. As a result Mexican-made drugs have spread to almost every region of this nation.
Since 2000 the estimated amount of cocaine arriving into the United States from Mexico averaged about 275 tons per year yet only 36 tons were seized a year. During the same period, about 19 tons of heroin were annually produced in Mexico yet only one ton was seized a year and 9,400 tons of marijuana were produced per year with only 2,900 tons seized.
The astounding figures were recently made public by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress. A 51-page report breaks down the various illicit drugs by category and maps out how easily cargos make it into the United States.
Throughout the report investigators dwelled on the crucial point that seizures remain low while hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine make it into the country each year. In other words, most of the narcotics are somehow slipping in through the porous southern border.
This seems to defeat the purpose of the costly Mexican counter narcotics program, which aims to disrupt the market for illegal drugs by making it more difficult for traffickers to produce and transport them into the United States.
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