Today the Department of State delivered three Black Hawk UH-60M helicopters to the Government of Mexico’s Federal Police Force (SSP). These are among the most modern and effective helicopters in the world. Valued at $64 million, they mark the first Merida Initiative aviation delivery to the Mexican Federal Police and will complement the SSP’s current air fleet by expanding law enforcement operations, allowing for rapid response and increased mobility of law enforcement personnel, providing access to remote reach regions, and expanding interdiction operations to target illicit activities.
This delivery exemplifies the joint commitment made at the March 2010 High Level Consultative Group to implement “an ambitious multi-year initiative to broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation against transnational drug trafficking organizations and organized crime.” Despite the significant threat posed by transnational organized crime, through joint efforts, Mexico and the United States also have tools in our arsenal to fight back and provide greater security to both our countries.
Under the Merida Initiative, the United States has delivered more than $310 million to date in equipment and training, with plans to deliver an additional $495 million in equipment and training by the end of 2011.
The Government of Mexico has committed tremendous resources to combating transnational criminal organizations, and the support delivered by the U.S. today under the Merida Initiative will serve to strengthen the shared goals of citizen safety, security, and respect for the rule of law.
A photograph of the delivery is available at: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/pix/inl/151979.htm