8/9/2019 12:33:00 PM Trump warns Mexico about failure to deal with drugs
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is warning he may take action against Mexico if it doesn’t do more against drug trafficking.
Mexico is among the 22 major drug transit and drug producing countries identified in a presidential memorandum released Thursday night by the White House and Trump wrote in the document that the administration of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador needs to intensify efforts to eradicate opium poppies, interdict illicit drugs and prosecute and seize assets of traffickers.
If he fails to formally certify that Mexico is doing enough over the next 12 months, the U.S. could withhold financial assistance and block international development bank loans.
Trump made such a ruling in the cases of Bolivia and Venezuela, saying they failed to uphold their antidrug commitments over the past year.
“We need to see a sustained and unified commitment from Mexican government officials across military and civilian agencies and working with foreign partners,” Trump wrote.
“Without further progress over the coming year, I will consider determining that Mexico has failed demonstrably to uphold its international drug control commitments,” he wrote.
Mexico had received almost no criticism from Trump after both governments agreed in June to rapid expansion of a new U.S. policy to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through clogged U.S. courts.
That agreement came after Trump had threatened to impose tariffs, even though its neighbor had already negotiated an updated trade deal with the United States and Canada.
On the other hand, Trump complimented the efforts of the Colombian president Ivan Duque in rolling back record-high coca cultivation and cocaine production and said “this progress needs to continue and expand.”
Trump reiterated his administration will work toward a joint goal to reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production by half by the end of 2023.
Trump had publicly chastised Duque over the drug issue in earlier years. But the White House reported in June that that coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia dropped slightly in 2018 for the first time in six years, though they remained at historically high levels.