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Analyst Says US Must Help Mexico Fight Drug Cartels

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Aired 4/20/09

A new report by the Pacific Council on International Policy says the United States must actively help Mexico fight drug cartels. The report's author spoke in San Diego today. KPBS Reporter Amy Isacskon has the story.

Pamela Starr is a fellow with the Pacific Council on International Policy.

She says the US needs to do all it can to help Mexico weaken the cartels. She says that means cutting off their money flow, reducing the amount of guns going south, building up Mexican law enforcement...

Pamela Starr: But also by reducing demand in the United States. Part of Obama's health care program should be an all out assault on drug consumption in the United States. We did it with cigarettes. We can do it with drugs and make it un-cool to take drugs.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon says drug smuggling cannot be eliminated as long as Americans use drugs.

Calderon recently announced he hopes to quell drug trafficking in Mexico in three years.

Starr says that goal is realistic if Calderon receives significant assistance from the United States.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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