US to launch $1bn ‘Plan Mexico’
Adam ThomsonFinancial TimesMonday October 08, 2007
The US intends to supply Mexico with a $1bn aid package to help combat an increasingly costly and violent war against drugs, according to a top Mexican diplomat.
The agreement, which some experts have dubbed ”Plan Mexico” after the controversial multi-billion-dollar anti-narcotics package the US established with Colombia in 2000, would be spread out over two years and include the supply of intelligence, training and equipment such as helicopters and boats.
However, Carlos Rico, Mexico’s undersecretary for North American affairs, said the plan would not resemble the aid package with Colombia. In particular, he said, no US troops would be allowed to operate on Mexican soil, thus sidestepping the particularly sensitive issue of Mexican sovereignty.
”They talk about Plan Colombia,” Mr Rico said. ”Here, we have the operational capacity to do it ourselves.”
Mr Rico’s comments confirm rumours that have been circling for several months. An official joint announcement is expected in the coming days.
The programme, which will be called the Joint Strategy to Fight Organised Crime and which requires approval by Congress before it can be rolled out next year, will probably be