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WASHINGTON — As many as 200 U.S.-trained Mexican security personnel have defected to drug cartels to carry out killings on both sides of the border and as far north as Dallas, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, told Congress on Wednesday.
The renegade members of Mexico's elite counter-narcotics teams trained at Fort Benning, Ga., have switched sides, contributing to a wave of violence that has claimed some 6,000 victims over the past 30 months, including prominent law enforcement leaders, the Houston-area Republican told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Officers 'switched sides'
The U.S.-trained Mexican security personnel have "switched sides and became assassins and recruiters for the Mexican drug cartels."
Poe, a former prosecutor and criminal court judge, issued the allegations in an unsuccessful effort to persuade the House Foreign Affairs Committee to revamp President Bush's Merida Initiative.
Bush's blueprint calls for $1.4 billion in training, equipment and law enforcement assistance to Mexico and Central America over three years.
Bush also is seeking $500 million in emergency assistance for Mexico this year as part of the supplemental war spending measure.