U.S. delivers modern choppers to Mexico for fighting drug trafficking

17:53, November 25, 2010      

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The United States on Wednesday delivered three Black Hawk UH-60M helicopters to the Mexican police for fighting drug trafficking and other organized crimes.

Describing the choppers worth 64 million dollars as "among the most modern and effective helicopters in the world," the U.S. State Department said they marked the first Merida Initiative aviation delivery to the Mexican federal police, adding they will help expand law enforcement operations, allow for rapid response and increased mobility of law enforcement personnel, provide access to remote reach regions and expand interdiction operations to target illicit activities.

The Merida Initiative, launched in 2007 by the Bush administration, aims to boost security cooperation between the United States and Mexico and the countries of Central America, with focus on combating drug trafficking, transnational crimes and money laundering. The U.S. assistance includes training, equipment and intelligence.

The advanced choppers are part of the efforts to implement "an ambitious multi-year initiative to broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation against transnational drug trafficking organizations and organized crime," which the U.S. and Mexico agreed to launch in March, the U.S. State Department said.

It added that "despite the significant threat posed by transnational organized crime, through joint efforts, Mexico and the United States also have tools in our arsenal to fight back and provide greater security to both our countries."

The Mexican government has been beefing up its fight against drug-related crimes since 2006, but the casualties in drug-related crimes have been on the rise in the past few years. In 2007, 2,275 people were killed. In 2008, the figure rose to 5,207. So far this year more than 6,000 have died.

Since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellin cartels in the 1990s, Mexican drug cartels have come to dominate the illicit drug wholesale market in the United States.

As a major drug producing and transit country, Mexico is the main foreign supplier of marijuana and a major supplier of methamphetamine to the United States.

Source: Xinhua


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