May 25, 2012

Ciudad Juarez Mayor Says US Drug War Aid Package Failed His City

Fox News LatinoCIUDAD JUÁREZ, MEXICO - Hector Murguía, the outspoken mayor of this border city besieged by a five-year drug war, says the Merida Initiative, the $1.4 billion U.S. aid package intended to support Mexico's war on drugs, has failed to make an impact at the local level.  

"We don't see any benefit of Merida," Murguía said from his third floor office, two blocks from the U.S. border with El Paso, Texas, one of the safest cities in the U.S. 

The Merida Initiative, signed by Congress in 2008, stipulated that no money would be sent directly to Mexico, coming instead in the form of training and equipment.

The package also calls for Mexico to enact judicial reform, strengthen government institutions, respect human rights and the rule of law -- reforms that many argue have yet to occur. 

"The U.S. is the biggest consumer of drugs and their aid package is not enough for us to do what they expect us to do, yet the American media is so critical of Juárez,” said a frustrated Murguía. “These people need to be more responsible and not criticize what they don’t know.” Read more

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