Some Mexican Leaders Question Bush’s Anti-Drug Aid Plan


President Bush’s plan to send more than $500 million in anti-drug aid to Mexico is sparking debate south of the border, says the Houston Chronicle. The proposal, which U.S. officials said would help Mexico fight the cartels that threaten to overwhelm its security forces, stoked traditionally deep suspicions of Washington’s motives. “There is worry about what it means to our sovereignty,” said Juan-Francisco Rivera, chairman of the Public Security Committee in Mexico lower house of Congress. “We need to first understand what this project is about.”

The total U.S. aid package would amount to about 20 percent of the $7 billion that President Felipe Calderon’s administration intends to spend on the drug war in the next three years. Approval by the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress is far from certain because the aid package is attached to a $45.9 billion supplemental spending request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Congress was not consulted as the plan was developed,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of a House Foreign Relations subcommittee holding hearings tomorrow on the plan. “This is not a good way to kick off such an important effort.” In Mexico, a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee in Mexico’s lower house said, “The plan worries us.”


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