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Mexico’s past stirs fears in meth effort

Cox News Service

WASHINGTON | Mexico’s history of government corruption fueled by drug money was at issue Wednesday in a Senate hearing on attempts by U.S. agencies to block international methamphetamine trafficking.

“There is a real concern about the criminal justice system in Mexico,” said Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, whose concerns were tied to recent U.S.-Mexico partnerships to establish meth enforcement teams.

“This the first time we’ve tackled this in such a joint collaborative way,” said Karen Tandy, Drug Enforcement Administration administrator.

John Walters, Office of National Drug Control Policy director, called for improving shared intelligence, upholding restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter decongestants, and increasing border security.

Meth math

•Mexican drug traffickers supply about 80 percent of the meth consumed in the U.S., according to the State Department.

•About 60 percent of the world’s meth users live in East and Southeast Asia. An estimated 600,000 addicts were reported in Japan.

•The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spends more than $145 million each year on specialized training and operations aimed at meth.