Key agricultural program aids drug traffickers

The primary government program for supporting poor farmers, Procampo, was shown to be paying support funds to many of the top drug traffickers and their families, as well many prominent political families, according to an investigation carried out by CIDE and Fundar and reported by El Universal. Among the drug traffickers (and their families) who have gotten Procampo financial support: ‘El Mayo’ Zambada (Sinaloa cartel), ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán (Sinaloa cartel), Amado and Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (Juárez cartel), and Juan Garcia Abrego (Gulf Cartel).  Procampo was created 15 years ago to assist small farmers adjust to the opening of agricultural trade as part of NAFTA.  The investigation estimates that the top 20% of recipients have gotten 80% of the Ps. 171 billion in grants over the life of the program, while the average small farmer receives only Ps.700 per year.  In response, Secretary of Agriculture Alberto Cárdenas promised an immediate scrubbing of the list of beneficiaries, but said it was the responsibility of the Justice Ministry to weed out drug traffickers. (Universal 7/27, 7/29, Proceso 7/31)

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