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No progress in Mexico's drug war

Mexican drug enforcement officer shows how poppy is cut to extract sap to make opium and heroin.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Just a few hours ago, the Bush Administration came out with a report about the war on drugs. It says the crackdown on drug cartels and tighter border controls are working. They've squeezed the supply of cocaine and sent the price on the streets skyrocketing.

But not everyone believes this is true. Dan Grech reports from our America's Desk at WLRN.


Dan Grech: Any day now, the Bush Administration is expected to hand Mexico nearly a billion dollars to fight drugs.

Larry Birns is with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. He calls the report on cocaine prices a public relations ploy.

Larry Birns: For the most part, nothing has changed. No damage has been done to the drug infrastructure.

Birns says the billions already spent fighting drugs have been a waste of money.

Birns: The war against drugs in the western hemisphere is essentially another Iraq. It's an endless battle, endless brutalities, and extremely few victories.

A GAO report released last month said the U.S. is losing the drug war in Mexico. The Bush Administration has countered with a torrent of positive data as it puts the final touches on its big aid package to Mexico.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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