U.S. anti-drug aid to Mexico reaches $214 million | Reuters

The United States has written checks for $214 million of the $1.4 billion promised to Mexico in 2007 to help fight the country’s powerful drug cartels, Washington’s top anti-drug diplomat said on Tuesday.

The amount is a fraction of $1.12 billion authorized by the U.S. Congress since 2008, of which $700 million was part of funds promised under the 2007 Merida Initiative.The money is intended to pay for equipment and training for Mexican security forces battling the violent drug gangs that send some $40 billion worth of illegal drugs into the United States every year.

The United States is also helping Mexican police set up internal affairs units to root out corrupt officers and improve recruiting procedures.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has staked his legacy on confronting and crushing the drug cartels that are at the heart of a drug war that has killed more than 13,000 people in the last three years.