April 1, 2011

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States is launching a broad new strategy that would funnel several hundred million dollars for drug interdiction in Latin America, a senior US official told lawmakers Thursday.

The strategy aims to put in place “interlocking plans” in the region, notably in Mexico, Colombia and Central America, and expanding efforts in areas like the Caribbean to neutralize transnational criminal groups.

“We expect this Western Hemisphere Counterdrug Strategy to be completed this summer,” national drug control policy director Gil Kerlikowske told a Senate hearing.

“The global nature of the drug threat requires a strategic response that is also global in scope. It is not realistic for countries to expect to be effective if they are operating in a vacuum,” he added.

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