Drug Control:

Observations on Counternarcotics Efforts in Mexico

T-NSIAD-96-182: Published: Jun 12, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1996.

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GAO discussed counternarcotics activities in Mexico, focusing on: (1) the nature of the drug-trafficking threat from Mexico; (2) Mexican government efforts to counter drug-trafficking activities; and (3) recent initiatives by the United States and Mexico to increase counternarcotics activities. GAO noted that: (1) U.S. and Mexican drug interdiction efforts have had little, if any, impact on the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico to the United States; (2) the amount of cocaine seized and the number of drug-related arrests have significantly declined since 1992; (3) widespread corruption, economic difficulties, and inadequate equipment and personnel training have hampered Mexico's capabilities to detect and interdict drug traffickers; (4) a substantial amount of Mexico's resources have been focused on economic concerns; (5) U.S. counternarcotics assistance has declined by 43 percent since 1992; (6) U.S. policy decisions and reductions in the counternarcotics program have also affected Mexican and U.S. drug control efforts; (7) Mexico lacks some important legislative tools for curbing drug-related activities; (8) drug interdiction funding declined from $1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1992 to about $570 million in FY 1995; and (9) although staffing cutbacks have limited U.S. ability to monitor counternarcotics assistance to Mexico, the United States and Mexico have created a framework for increased cooperation and are developing a new binational drug control strategy.

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