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US trims Mexico anti-trafficking funding over human rights

More than 71 tons of various drugs seized by Mexican federal authorities are destroyed in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico on August 18, 2015The United States has cut by 15 percent some of the aid it provides to Mexico for the fight against drug traffickers, citing concerns over the conduct of human rights by its southern neighbor. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Monday that the move to redirect some so-called Merida funding — money used by Mexico in the fight against traffickers — is mandated by US legislation that seeks to hold the government accountable when it fails to show that it upholds rights of its citizens. “Per congressional legislation, the State Department is required to withhold 15 percent of certain Merida funding for Mexico until a report on human rights is submitted to Congress,” Toner said.

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