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Crime and violence related to drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America have increased in recent years and pose a threat not only to those areas but to the United States as well, particularly along the Southwest border. The Merida Initiative, announced in 2007, provides about $1.6 billion in law enforcement support to Mexico and Central American countries. The Department of State (State) manages the Initiative while other U.S. agencies play key roles in implementation. This testimony addresses (1) the status of Merida program implementation; (2) State's strategy for implementation; and (3) coordination mechanisms in place for Merida. This testimony is based on a new GAO report being released at today's hearing (GAO-10-837).

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