Classified DEA Report Says Drug Corruption in Mexican Military More Serious than Previously Believed 3/27/98

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According to the New York Times (3/26), a classified DEA report suggests that ties between the Mexican army and drug traffickers are more pervasive than had been believed. The Times quotes unnamed U.S. officials who said it is now believed that the arrest last year of Mexico's "Drug Czar" Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo followed secret meetings between traffickers and Mexican officers at which protection payments were discussed. One official told the Times, "The bottom line is that all this goes deeper than we thought." Another was quoted as saying "it points to much of our work in Mexico being an exercise in futility." The Mexican army has been counted on more and more in recent years for anti- narcotics work because US officials believed that the country's police force was too deeply corrupt to be trusted.

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