Report: No Evidence Justifies $3 Billion In Mexican Aid

While a growing number of Americans are expressing skepticism about the way billions of U.S. dollars are being spent in Ukraine, another form of foreign aid is on the receiving end of misappropriation claims.

According to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report, the federal government’s expenditure of more than $3 billion over the past 15 years ostensibly to combat drug trafficking and other crimes in Mexico has not stood up to scrutiny.

The money has been sent through two separate entities — the Merida Initiative starting in 2008 and the Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities beginning in 2021.

Taking a look at the combined efforts, the new report determined that “the U.S. government cannot demonstrate that it is achieving its goals in Mexico and that its investments … have been spent effectively.”

In fact, the GAO report found that nearly three-fourths of the guns collected in Mexico between 2014 and 2018 originally came from the U.S.

“Despite ongoing security assistance, the security situation in Mexico has significantly worsened over the last 15 years,” the agency concluded. “From 2007 to 2021, the homicide rate in Mexico more than tripled to one of the highest national homicide rates in the world, from eight homicides per 100,000 people to 28 per 100,000 people, according to the United Nations.”

Even as crime numbers spiked, data shows that “Mexico has extremely low rates of prosecution for all crimes,” the report noted.

The tenuous alliance between the U.S. and Mexico appears to have weakened further since Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in 2018.

His administration, the GAO stated, “reduced security cooperation with the United States at the federal level.”

On the state level, a number of Mexican leaders have been openly hostile toward the idea of working with U.S. counterparts to reduce crime.

The report also cited rampant corruption within the Mexican government as a reason for the failure of the U.S. program.

“For example, [the U.S. Department of State’s] 2022 human rights report stated that some Mexican government officials were complicit with international organized criminal groups, but these officials were rarely prosecuted or convicted,” the report found.