Was Mexican Coke Bust Just for Show?

US $1.4B aid package must be tied to police overhaul, expert says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2007 4:48 PM CST
President Bush, right, shakes hands with Mexican President Felipe Calderon during the Security and Prosperity Partner Summit at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello on Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, in Montebello,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The timing of Mexico's biggest-ever coke bust was a little too perfect last week, Time says. Mexican police nabbed the nose candy—23.5 tons valued at $400 million—just as Congress was debating whether to send more drug-fighting aid. “We've seen this movie before,” grumbled one expert, who says US aid must be tied to changes with Mexico’s shady federal police.

The timing is right for change, experts say. New Mexican President Felipe Calderon has hit the country's drug cartels, and one of his ministers is vetting out corrupt cops. Now they need funds to pay police so they can resist drug industry temptation. Bush’s two-year, $1.4 billion proposal would also give them high-tech gizmos that the US has carefully guarded until now.