Central American Freeloaders Line Up, with Hands Outstretched
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As noted previously here, some in Washington are convinced that a substantial sum of money should be sent to Mexico to aid its internal police activities against drug cartels. Called the Merida Initiative, the proposed program would deliver $1.4 billion in military technology to a country known for corruption from top to bottom.

Worse than just being more taxpayer money wasted, however, the high-tech equipment could easily end up in the hands of the crime syndicates. Such things have happened before: the enforcer thugs known as Zetas were trained by the US military, but ended up on the dark side.

As it happens, there is still another problem with shoveling more money to wealthy Mexico: the low-rent neighbors to the south have become alerted to the smell of Washington freebies: now they want drug-fighting foreign aid also.

Naturally, Bush is happy to run up the national credit card for another $50 million or so. Why should he change his ways now in his last year? Spend!

Dismayed at being perceived as an afterthought to a massive counter-drug aid package for Mexico, Central American nations are asking for hundreds of millions for themselves, according to diplomats and U.S. government officials. [...]

Between 2000 and 2006, Central America received $140 million in U.S. counter-drug aid — a fraction of the more than $4 billion provided to Colombia in the same span.

Some Central American diplomats are suggesting that at least $500 million is needed from the United States.
[U.S. counter-drug aid sought, Miami Herald, Jan 11, 2008]

Central America may be an insignificant backwater but its leaders have learned from the master (Mexico) about how to mooch off Uncle Sucka, particularly as long as the great patron of hispanics remains in the White House.

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