Obama stops drug interdiction program
This makes no sense especially in light of the program that is supposed to help Mexico deal with the narco terrorist who are fighting a criminal insurgency. It is certainly inconsistent with a policy of trying to stop the flow of drugs.
The State Department has turned down an offer by the government of El Salvador to renew a joint drug interdiction program that allows the U.S. Navy to base P-3 maritime search aircraft at Comalpa International airport in El Salvador.
The 10-year agreement, which went into force after the Salvadoran legislature approved it in 2000, is set to expire next year. The Office of National Drug Control Policy recently estimated that more than half of the drugs destined for the United States pass through the Pacific corridor patrolled by the P-3 aircraft based in El Salvador.
“El Salvador has been our staunchest anti-drug ally in the region, outside of Columbia,” said J. Michael Waller, a Latin America expert with the Center for Security Policy. “This program was very well established. The Salvadoran government wanted to extend it for 10 years, and the State Department said no. What kind of insanity is that?”
For many years, Salvador’s former rebel party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (known by its Spanish acronym, FMLN) has opposed U.S.-Salvadoran drug cooperation.
The FMLN won a closely fought general election March 15 and is set to take over the reins of government on June 1.