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18 U.S.-Trained Mexican Pilots Arrested for Cocaine Smuggling


September-October 1997

Eighteen Mexican pilots were caught September 1 at a Mexico city airport smuggling nearly 165 pounds of cocaine in a government-owned plane. The pilots were trained in the U.S. to read sophisticated radar used to track planes bringing drug shipments into Mexico from South and Central America. The training was part of a program in which the U.S. government gave Mexico $8 million to further anti-drug efforts (Tracey Eaton, "Mexican agents accused of using plane to smuggle cocaine," Dallas Morning News, September 5, 1997; Andrew Downie, "Drug smugglers learned radar in U.S., paper says," Houston Chronicle, September 5, 1997, p. 22A).