The United States has provided three state-of-the-art Helicopters to Mexico to help the neighboring country fight drug-related violence.
The Black Hawk UH-60M helicopters that the State Department delivered to Mexico's Federal Police Force (SSP) are among the most modern and effective helicopters in the world.
Valued at $64 million, they mark the first Merida Initiative aviation delivery to the Mexican Federal Police.
It will add to the SSP's current air fleet by expanding law enforcement operations, allowing for rapid response and increased mobility of law enforcement personnel, providing access to remote reach regions, and expanding interdiction operations to target illicit activities.
This delivery exemplifies the joint commitment made at the March 2010 High Level Consultative Group to implement "an ambitious multi-year initiative to broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation against transnational drug trafficking organizations and organized crime," the State Department said in a statement.
Under the Merida Initiative, the United States has so far delivered more than $310 million in equipment and training, with plans to deliver an additional $495 million by the end of 2011, it added.
The Merida Initiative is a historic program of cooperation that acknowledges the shared responsibilities of the United States and Mexico to counter drug-fueled violence that has threatened citizens on both sides of the border.
The massacre of 72 migrants by suspected drug traffickers in a northern Mexican state bordering Texas in August led to the resignation of Mexico's Commissioner of National Migration Institute after she was summoned by the Senate.
On August 24, gunmen from the dreaded Los Zetas drug cartel shot dead migrants from Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador in San Fernando as they were trying to enter the U.S. across the northern border.
Cutting across party lines, the Senators condemned the massacre and acknowledged that Mexico could not "demand respect for its nationals in the United States" when it "does not assure the dignified treatment" of migrants from other countries on its own territory.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comparison of the neighboring country with Colombia of the 1990's had evoked protests from the Mexican government.
It was followed by President Barack Obama's denial that growing drug-related violence in Mexico was comparable to the situation Colombia experienced two decades ago.
An estimated 28,000 people had died in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006 despite real progress made by defense and police forces in tackling the drug mafia.