US and Mexico to revise counter-drug strategy

On Tuesday the United States and Mexico announced a new strategy to combat increasingly violent drug movements across the border between the two countries.

According to American officials, the new plan would place more emphasis on local law enforcement, as well as providing aid to cities affected by the drug trade. It would be based off an earlier plan, called the Mérida Initiative, that was introduced by the Bush administration three years ago.

According to Hillary Clinton, the new strategy would not supersede the older initiative, but would rather supplement and expand upon it. Other American officials said the new plan would lead to additional efforts to introduce systems that would enable those transporting drugs to be apprehended before they reached the border, rather than just constructing a better defense at the border.

The new plan would also eliminate funding for military defense systems in favor of training for civilian police officers. Under the original Mérida Initiative, much of the $1.3 billion spent was on military equipment such as aircraft for Mexican forces. The new plan’s budget includes no money for such purchases.

The announcement came during a visit to Mexico City by several senior officials from the Obama administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who, together with her Mexican counterpart, introduced the new plan. Other American officials included military officers as well as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

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