Grassley Defines Terms for Mexico
"The Mexican government has stated its commitment to fighting drugs, but far more vigorous, sustained steps must be taken to deal not only with drug trafficking but with the corruption that goes with it," Grassley said. "I believe we should send a signal this year that in this fight the Mexican government has the support of the United States. However, we must see results from the Mexican government. If there is not clear-cut progress in these areas, then the President must fully decertify Mexico on March 1, 1998."
Grassley specified key areas in which he expects to see such measurable results, including:
- The development and deployment of a Southern tier of radars to monitor the flow of trafficking aircraft into Mexico and the deployment of adequate interception resources to shut down the air bridge into Mexico.
- The arrest and prosecution or extradition of major drug trafficking kingpins and cartels.
- Vigorous steps to eradicate federal, state and local corruption, including the investigation of accusations against state governors and public officials.
- Swift action to implement recent money-laundering and anti-organized crime legislation.
- Swift resolution of the reciprocal ability of law enforcement officials on the U.S.-Mexican border to cross the frontier with their weapons on official duty.
- Swift resolution of refueling difficulties for maritime and air assets.
- Development of a maritime agreement that permits adequate cooperation at sea on intercepting maritime smuggling.
- Development of better port controls and monitoring capabilities to disrupt smuggling in cargo.
- Development and use of vetted units, which are specially selected and trained law enforcement units to go after drug traffickers.
Grassley said that despite his grave concerns about drug corruption in the Mexican political process, he believes Mexico must be given the chance to make progress on these well-defined goals. "These steps are important to strengthen U.S.-Mexico relations, and they are critical to the survival of democracy and the rule of law in Mexico," Grassley said.
Grassley serves as chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.