The United States and Mexico have begun building a new police academy in the central Mexican state of Puebla as part of the Merida joint anti-drug effort, the head of the initiative said.
Mexican federal police have been receiving training under the auspices of the Merida program since 2008 at a public security academy at San Luis Potosi in northern Mexico that trains officers for a variety of missions.
But Keith Mines, the US director of the Merida Initiative, said on Monday that the new academy would be the "first of its kind in the world" and would cater exclusively to security forces involved in the initiative.
He said the State Department would be providing $4 million for the center and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other security agencies would be advising the academy.
Last month the United States announced a $500 million increase in the aid it provides under the crime-fighting Merida Initiative to broaden US anti-drug assistance beyond Mexican federal law enforcement.
The United States, which shares a 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border with Mexico, has promised training and equipment to Mexico's security forces under the three-year, $1.3 billion initiative to tackle organized crime