Drug Control: Status of Counternarcotics Efforts in Mexico, Statement of Benjamin F. Nelson, Director, International Relations and Trade Issues, National Security and International Affairs Division, before the Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, House of Representatives; and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 58KB]

"My statement today will highlight the preliminary findings from our ongoing work to update that report as requested by Senator Grassley and this Subcommittee. I would like to discuss three broad topics: the nature of the drug threat from Mexico and results of efforts to address this threat, the planning and coordination of U.S. counternarcotics assistance to the Mexican military, and the need to establish performance measures to assess the effectiveness of U.S. and Mexican counternarcotics efforts. Our final report on these matters will be issued shortly. Almost 2 years ago I testified before this Subcommittee about U.S.-Mexican counternarcotics issues. During that hearing I stated that Mexico was the primary transit country for cocaine entering the United States from South America, as well as a major source country for heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamines. That has not changed. Today, Mexico continues to be the principal transit country for cocaine entering the United States and, despite U.S. and Mexican counternarcotics efforts, the flow of illegal drugs into the United States from Mexico has not significantly diminished. No country poses a more immediate narcotics threat to the United States than Mexico, according to the State Department. The 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border and the daunting volume of legitimate cross-border traffic provide near-limitless opportunities for smuggling illicit drugs, weapons, and proceeds of crime, and for escape by fugitives."

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