More arms for the man
Despite a deepening economic crisis, marked by the continuous devaluation of the peso and impending cuts in public spending, and absent even an official war against drug traffickers, the Enrique Peña Nieto governent has bought over 1.3 billion dollars of U.S. military hardware in less than a year.
The unusual expenditure is revealed in Pentagon documents according to which Mexican spending is nearly triple the 500 million dollars that Washington gave Mexico from 2007 to date in equipment and military technology for the “Merida Initiative” the cooperation agreement to fight drug trafficking and organized crime.
“Last year marked a milestone in our bilateral security relationship with Mexico,” Admiral William E. Gortney, head of the Northern Command (Northcom), said jubilant when presenting his annual report to the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
“Mexico took the unprecedented step to approach the Department of Defense to purchase US military equipment through Military Sales Program. A package of UH-60 helicopters and land vehicles mobility for multiple purposes (VTMPM) with a total value of more than billion, represents an increase of 100 million in purchases made in previous years”, Gortney reported to the Senate hearing on June the Senate at the hearing held 12 May.
The “historic milestone” Gortney referred to, was the acquisitions by the Peña Nieto government of $1,346,000,000 in technology, spare parts and military training between 21 April 2014 and 17 March 2016. This is not counting the 15 helicopters purchased from the Texas company Textron ten days before the appearance before the Senate of the Northcom commander.
According to the Department of Defense’s Defense Agency for Security Cooperation (DSCA) Commuique 14-10 dated April 21, 2014, the Obama administration informed the State Department of it’s approval of the sale of 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Mexico for about $680 million.
Translated from J. Jesús Esquivel, “EU arma a México: le vende 1,300 mdd en un año… y sin guerra” (Katheon, 21-June-2016, originaly in Proceso)