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U.S., Mexico set drug war plan

March 23, 2010 at 9:46 PM

MEXICO CITY, March 23 (UPI) -- The United States and Mexico Tuesday announced a new counternarcotics strategy that includes increased support for law enforcement and drug-ravaged communities.

The $331 million program was announced during a visit to Mexico City by a U.S. delegation that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, The New York Times reported.

U.S. officials said the strategy is designed to develop better ways to screen cross-border traffic before people and goods reach the border, and to bolster Mexican aid for community organizations in border towns where crime and poverty are rampant.

Officials said the strategy largely involves building on efforts already being undertaken through an initiative of the administration of former President George W. Bush. The new strategy lessens the emphasis on military aid in favor of more cooperation between the United States and Mexico on intelligence and training of police officers, judges and lawyers, the Times said.

"This effort is grounded in a shared responsibility to protect our people and promote good governance, the rule of law and human rights," Clinton said.

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