Mexico City, May 15 (IANS/EFE) The US has spent around $40 million for training a ‘secret’ dedicated unit of around 200 Mexican police and army personnel in an effort to hunt down drug kingpins, a media report said.
The group was trained by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and has captured at least four ‘top-level lieutenants’ of Mexican drug lords during 2006-2010, Mexican newspaper Milenio said in a report Friday.
The secret unit, called the SIU, received $40 million from the DEA in salaries, equipment, training and consultancy in the last four years.
The daily also cited DEA documents as saying that the US Congress has been asked to budget another $10.8 million for the year 2011 in order to provide the Mexican unit with additional security teams.
The Mexican government and the US Embassy are hoping that the trained unit would weaken the drug cartels ‘by means of lightning-like operations’, the report said.
The government has deployed over 45,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal agents in its war against the drug cartels.