May 8, 2009
The U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, approved a supplemental appropriation of $470 million toward the Mérida Initiative yesterday. These funds will pay for three surveillance airplanes and four Blackhawk helicopters that will reinforce anti-narcotics operations.
President Obama submitted a request for $66 million for the two Blackhawk helicopters that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to the Mexican government during her recent visit to the country. The funding approved by the Committee on Appropriations represents an increase of $404 million over the amount initially requested by the White House. Congress increased the amount insisting on the urgency to address growing violence along the United States-Mexico border by supporting the government’s war against organized crime and drug-trafficking
Two weeks ago, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved a new law that will allow greater power to authorities and expediency in confiscating assets from criminal organizations.