NPT Media: London Financial Times on EP southbound searches
Tempers rise as US cracks down on drug trafficking along Mexican border, By Adam Thomson in El Paso, Texas
Published: June 2 2009 03:00 | Last updated: June 2 2009 03:00
“It’s ridiculous,” says Héctor Chavira, a delivery man driving a beaten-up Ford Ka that has no air conditioning. “You get used to it going the other way, but this?”
It may not look like it, but Mr Chavira is experiencing first hand the clearest sign yet of Washington’s changing strategy towards the war on drugs.
Since late March, the administration of Barack Obama has started to in-spect southbound traffic on all the main routes towards Mexico to stem the flow of weapons used by Mexico’s violent drugs cartels.
US officials have called the inspections a “sea change” in the administration’s approach. “For the first time, we recognise that the existence of drug trafficking is a function of consumption here,” said Alan Bersin, US assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and Washington’s de facto border tsar, at a press conference in El Paso this week. “It is about coresponsabilidad ,” he added in stuttering Spanish.