With five months remaining before the U.S. Congress must once again decide whether to give approval of President Clinton's recommendations as to which nations to "certify" as allies in the War on Drugs, Mexico's status has been brought into question. In a statement released this week, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Paul Coverdell (R-GA) said, "(i)t is not at all clear that Mexico will earn certification next year."
The process of certification has been criticized throughout Latin America as arrogant, demeaning and politically, rather than objectively, determined. A nation that is not certified as a sufficiently staunch ally in the US War faces the prospect of an end to US aid and an automatic "no" vote by the US on loans from the World Bank.
The statement listed a lack of extraditions to the US, the lack of high profile arrests, widespread corruption and a continued Mexican policy against allowing U.S. anti- narcotics agents to carry arms within Mexico as the reasons for their discontent. The report concluded, "Mexican authorities must take swift and comprehensive action to produce real results. Absent these signs of progress, it will be nearly impossible to make the case that Mexico has fully cooperated with the United States by March 1."
In response to the report, Mexican President Zedillo called for the U.S. to foot some of the bill for "the mess" that U.S. policy has made of his country. Zedillo, alluding to Mexico's geographical location between the world's largest heroin and cocaine producing regions and the U.S., the world's largest consumer of these products, lamented his nation's role as a "sandwich" being squeezed from above with little or no support.
You can e-mail Senators Feinstein and Coverdell at [email protected] and [email protected].