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| 1/24/2011 12:00:00 AM

Colombia stepping up anti-drug training of Mexico's army, police

Long experienced in fighting cocaine cartels and Marxist guerrillas, Colombia is training thousands of Mexican policemen as well as soldiers and court officers to help contain drug gangs that have turned parts of Mexico into virtual combat zones.

Most of the training has taken place in Mexico, Colombian and American officials say. But in a sign of how serious the threat posed by the Mexican cartels has become, an increasing number of Mexican soldiers and policemen are traveling here to train with Colombia's battle-tested police commandos.

"Mexico has what we had some years ago, which are very powerful cartels," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in a recent interview. "What we can provide is the experience that we have had dismantling those cartels, training intelligence officers, training judicial police."

Colombia's new role provides the Obama administration, which pays for part of the training and has a close alliance with Colombia, with a politically viable way to improve Mexican security forces without a substantial American military or police presence in Mexico. Placing U.S. forces there would be politically contentious in Mexico even as Washington commits hundreds of millions of dollars to help smash powerful drug cartels.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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