Kerry urges US to spend $250M a year to help Mexico reform justice, police sectors

The report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff recommends that the United States spend $250 million per year over the next four years to help the Mexican federal government revamp its justice system and help states reform their police forces. Drug-related violence south of the border has left more than 50,000 people dead since President Felipe Calderon unleashed the army to deal with drug traffickers in 2006.

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“Mexico's presidential transition provides a new window to discuss and debate the best security strategies to deal with the serious violence plaguing Mexico,” panel chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in a statement introducing the report. “As the political landscape continues to change in both countries, this report underscores the importance of continuity in two critical areas – judicial and police reform. Mexicans have committed to these fundamental reforms and as tough as they will be to implement they are fundamental for any sustained reduction in violence in Mexico. These are worthy efforts that must succeed.”