Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Central America will get its own U.S. backed anti-drug plan.

Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) William Brownfield, center, speaks to the press(AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

Due to the fact that mexican drug cartels are increasingly transporting Colombian cocaine by land, sea and air to Central America, then to Mexico and on into the U.S., the Obama administration is studying the feasability of an anti-drug aid plan exclusively “tailor made” for Central America, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield said Washington would initially put in $200 million to be used just by the seven Central American countries. It will be a separate action from the Merida Plan.

The mission of  the plan aims to enable more collaboration and coordination with Central America in the fight against illegal drugs and that it wouldn’t replace aid being given by existing initiatives, like the Merida Initiative MI.

The United States currently gives anti-drug aid to the central american region through the MI, although most of the MI’s money goes to sustain the war on drugs in Mexico.

The U.S. Congress approved $700 million for Mexico for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 as part of the initiative. It allotted $175 million for Central American, the Dominican Republic and Haiti in the same period. During the last years, some mexican cartels and groups like The Zetas started to have an important presence in some countries like Guatemala, and the gang  Maras Salvatrucha have an important illegal activity in El Salvador and Honduras.

For the current fiscal year, the Obama administration has asked U.S. Congress to appropriate $450 million for Mexico and $100 million for Central America.