Drug Control: Revised Drug Interdiction Approach Is Needed in Mexico

NSIAD-93-152 Published: May 10, 1993. Publicly Released: May 20, 1993.
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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Northern Border Response Force (NBRF) program, focusing on: (1) the program's status; (2) program implementation problems; and (3) future plans to expand drug interdiction activities in Mexico and neighboring Latin American countries.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State Since the UH-1H helicopters the United States provided to NBRF have not been used for interdiction as originally intended and the mobile operating base concept does not appear to be suited to combat the changing drug trafficker tactics in Mexico, the Secretary of State should reevaluate the need to continue to lease the fleet of helicopters to the government of Mexico. In making this decision, the Secretary should consider whether the helicopters could be more effectively used in other areas or countries for drug interdiction purposes.
Closed – Implemented
In late 1994, representatives of the Department of State and the newly elected Mexican government reevaluated the need to renew the soon-to-expire lease of U.S. helicopters to the government of Mexico. Both parties agreed that the lease should be renewed and an additional 12 helicopters should be provided. This decision was made as air traffic into Mexico is increasing and interdiction efforts are being expanded to address the overland and maritime movement of drugs. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has drafted a comprehensive drug interdiction strategy to coordinate and direct the activities of all U.S. government agencies in Mexico.

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