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US Donates Drug Equipment To Mexico

The U.S. government has just handed Mexican authorities almost a million dollars in protective equipment for agents dismantling clandestine drug labs. The donation is part of the drug-fighting partnership known as the Merida Initiative.

Earlier in the month, the U.S. government gave Mexican police academies equipment for firearms training. And in this most recent donation, Mexican authorities received special suits and other gear so agents can protect themselves from chemicals in drug labs.

Eric Rojo Stevens is a retired U.S. Army colonel. He said the U.S. helps Mexico through the Merida Initiative with in-kind support like training and equipment for drug busts.

"So this is the type of thing, you see the individual with a hood, with long gloves, with everything from boots to a type of shirt and pants to make sure that whatever it is they're going to touch does not affect the individual," Stevens said.

Since the initiative began in 2008, the U.S. government has given about $1.6 billion worth of support to Mexican authorities.

Jorge Valencia was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2016 to 2019.