Policy & Issues
Action Plan Details Support for Most Significant Expansion of Drug Treatment in America in Generations; Emphasizes Drug Policy Reform; Policies Treat Drug Addiction as Public Health Issue, Not Just a Criminal Justice Issue
The USG is working closely with Mexican counterparts to make effective use of our bilateral extradition treaty and other legal mechanisms in order to ensure that our shared border does not serve as a barrier behind which fugitives from justice may flee, find safe haven, and continue to commit crimes.
The overwhelming majority of fugitives extradited by Mexico are wanted in the U.S. for the most serious crimes, including murder, rape, sexual offenses against children, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. Most of the fugitives returned to the U.S. by extradition are Mexican citizens.
Aside from extraditions, Mexican immigration authorities, in cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies, have been aggressively making use of Mexican immigration laws to deport non-Mexican fugitives to the United States. Since 2005, Mexico has deported between 150 and 200 fugitives to face justice in the U.S.
Major Counterdrug Initiatives
A primary mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Mexico is to assist with the identification, disruption and dismantlement of the command and control elements of the illicit narcotics, chemicals, and money laundering organizations. Through enhanced cooperation with DEA, Mexican counterparts have tackled many complex multinational investigations with very successful results:
- In FY 2007, DEA Mexico offices reported the seizure by Mexican law enforcement and military of a record-breaking $297,059,296.00 dollars in revenue denied to traffickers. This amount represented the value of seized drugs, currency, vehicles, aircraft, property, and other assets.
- In January 2007 -- less than 2 months after President Calderon' inauguration -- Mexico extradited four major drug traffickers to the United States, one being the leader of the notorious Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas. For the past eight years, this drug kingpin commanded one of the most brutal drug cartels in the world, an organization which continues to be responsible for much of the narco-violence along the Mexico-U.S. border. Of the 79 extraditions from Mexico to the United States to date (January 1, 2007 to November 15, 2007) 40% have been drug-related.
- In March 2007, information passed from DEA to the Mexican Attorney General' Office resulted in the largest recorded drug cash seizure, $207 million U.S. dollar equivalent. Also seized in this same investigation were luxury vehicles, designer jewelry, and real estate.
- October 2007 was a record-breaking month in terms of the largest cocaine seizures ever in Mexico. Coordination between DEA and Mexican counterparts resulted in the seizure of 23.6 metric tons in Manzanillo with a street value of more than $400 million dollars. A separate operation in Tamaulipas resulted in 11.7 tons of cocaine being removed from the market. The trend of increased seizures has contributed to a 44% price increase for cocaine in the United States
Reducing U.S. Drug Consumption
The United States recognizes the importance of preventing drug use and treating addiction, in addition to fighting associated criminal activities. More Information can be found at: White House Office of Drug Policy.
Our National Drug Control Strategy has three elements:
- Stopping use before it starts
- Intervening and healing America' drug users
- Disrupting the market
The U. S. 2008 budget for drug control is about $13 billion dollars:
- 36% dedicated to reducing demand (treatment & prevention)
- 28% for domestic law enforcement
- 25% interdiction (at borders and at home)
These programs show results:
- Teen drug use is down 23% since 2001 (840,000 fewer users)
- Workplace drug use is at its lowest level in 18 years.
- Since 1988, positive drug tests have fallen from 13.6% in 1988 to 3.8% in 2006.
Law enforcement programs have also produced significant results:
- 29,400 arrests on drug-related charges.
- Nearly 70,000 kg in cocaine and over 320,000 kg of marijuana
Access to Recovery is a nation-wide program that provides vouchers for treatment as well as recovery support services. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 20 million Americans need treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use.
Overall illicit drug use among teens ages 12-17 is at a 5-year low, according to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the largest and most comprehensive study of drug use in the United States.
According to the same study, approximately 35.3 million Americans aged 12 & older had tried cocaine at least once in their lifetimes -- 14.3% of the population aged 12 and older.
From 1995-2005, the number of admissions to treatment for methamphetamine abuse increased from 47,695 in 1995 to 152,368 in 2005.
Nearly 90% of the cocaine available in the U.S. crosses the Southwest Border.
ONDCP Fact Sheets
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