(Senate - March 20, 1997)

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[Pages S2581-S2605]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The joint resolution (H.J. Res. 58) disapproving the 
     certification of the President under section 490(b) of the 
     Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 regarding foreign assistance 
     for Mexico during fiscal year 1997.

  The Senate proceeded to consider the joint resolution.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Madam President, first, let me thank the majority 
leader, the minority leader, and all of those Senators who have been 
engaged this morning in our efforts to move House Joint Resolution 58. 
Needless to say, I am very pleased that we have been able to come to 
this unanimous consent to consider this resolution of paramount 
importance as it relates to the drug cartels and the impact they are 
having on our country, on Mexico, and in all countries within our 
  Madam President, I will read from a statement by Thomas A. 
Constantine, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, 
which was given before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 
12, 1997. I am giving this statement as a prelude to my remarks to 
frame the scope of the issue to which this resolution confronts.

       Many phrases have been used to describe the complex and 
     sophisticated international drug trafficking groups operating 
     out of Colombia and Mexico, and frankly, the somewhat 
     respectable titles of ``cartel'' or ``federation'' mask the 
     true identity of these vicious, destructive entities. The 
     Cali organization, and the four largest drug trafficking 
     organizations in Mexico--operating out of Juarez, Tijuana, 
     Sonora and the Gulf region--are simply organized crime groups 
     whose leaders are not in Brooklyn or Queens, but are safely 
     ensconced on foreign soil. They are not legitimate 
     businessmen as the

[[Page S2582]]

     word ``cartel'' implies, nor are they ``federated'' into a 
     legitimate conglomerate. These syndicate leaders--the 
     Rodriguez Orejuela brothers in Colombia to Amado Carrillo-
     Fuentes, Juan Garcia-Abrego, Miguel Caro-Quintero, and the 
     Arellano-Felix Brothers--are simply the 1990's version of the 
     mob leaders U.S. law enforcement has fought since shortly 
     after the turn of the century.
       But these organized crime leaders are far more dangerous, 
     far more influential, and have a great deal more impact on 
     our day to day lives than their domestic predecessors. While 
     organized crime in the United States during the 1950's 
     through the 1970's affected certain aspects of American life, 
     their influence pales in comparison to the violence, 
     corruption and power that today's drug syndicates wield. . . 
     . The drugs--and the attendant violence which accompanies the 
     drug trade--have reached into every American community and 
     have robbed many Americans of the dreams they once cherished.

  And I add, even, in thousands of cases, their lives.
  In the face of this massive drug problem and its effect on two 
friendly countries, the United States and Mexico, the administration 
decided to certify Mexico as being fully cooperative in our joint 
battle. The message that sent, Madam President, to the people of both 
of our countries was that things are going along pretty well. They are 
not. In fact, they are in crisis proportions.
  We cannot accept a statement to the American people, a statement to 
the people of Mexico, and a statement to the people of this hemisphere 
that we are winning the struggle, because we are not. We are losing it 
in its current configuration.
  That led, Madam President, a number of the Members of the Senate on 
both sides of the aisle, in every region of our country, and of every 
political and philosophical persuasion, to say no. That is a 
ratification of the status quo, and the status quo is unacceptable. It 
is unacceptable.

  Now, some interpret that as an attack on Mexico. I do not see it that 
way. I see it as an honest appraisal of a situation that is 
debilitating to both Republics. The President of Mexico himself has 
said that the greatest threat to the Mexican Republic are the drug 
cartels. We cannot accept the status quo.
  Madam President, House Joint Resolution 58 is a rejection of the 
status quo and a victory for the people of both countries who want to 
renew and reinvigorate this battle, to put it on a new course. 
Throughout the debate, I have argued that we need to find a new place 
to be other than just the debate over whether any country has met a 
criteria established by the United States as to whether they are 
adequately fighting the battle or not. The point is, the battle, as it 
has been fought, is being lost and we must find a new way to come to 
the struggle. I am pleased to say that in House Joint Resolution 58 
there is language that is adopting my suggestion, along with that of 
Senator Dodd of Connecticut, that we reconstruct in the hemisphere the 
way we come to the battle. And it calls on the President, when he goes 
to Mexico and Latin America later this year, and to the Caribbean, to 
bring this subject up and to begin talking about how we can come 
together as equal partners to confront this stealth adversary that 
cares for no human being nor any sovereign nation. If we fought the 
battle in the Persian Gulf, Madam President, like we are fighting this 
adversary--and I might add that it is virtually as dangerous--we would 
have lost that struggle, as we are losing this one. We need to 
reinvigorate the struggle, and this proposal, which is endorsed by such 
a wide array of people, does just that.
  Madam President, I want to say a few words about this, because every 
time somebody stands up and says the status quo is unacceptable, you 
are immediately pushed into a category of being insensitive to those in 
Mexico, or other countries who were trying to help us, and, indeed, we 
know they are there. And no one who is an author of that resolution has 
it in their mind that they want to make their job more difficult. But 
if the only answer we get is, ``Just keep this quiet, don't raise the 
issue,'' and every time it is raised you are categorized as somebody 
who is offending another nation, that is inappropriate and 
  The work that we have been doing here is absolutely on target. This 
country and Mexico, and all the other countries in the hemisphere, have 
to go public about the scope of the enemy we are struggling with. That 
is what this resolution does. It takes us to a new place and a new day 
and a more open and honest discussion in the hemisphere about this 
  Technically, Madam President, this resolution will cause the 
administration to come to the Congress and demonstrate to us that they 
have renewed this battle not only in the hemisphere, but in the United 
States. There is a mutuality about this resolution. It acknowledges 
that our country is a key element in the problem. Not only are we a 
consumer and the No. 1 consumer of these illicit drugs, but we are a 
producer of the drugs themselves, and a grower of them. We have to get 
this on the table. If you are going to eradicate marijuana in Mexico, 
let's get it eradicated here. The technologists tell us we can find any 
of these products where they are growing. Well, let's find them and get 
rid of them.
  A contention that made this resolution such a struggle to come to was 
that the administration did not want us to come back and revisit this 
question later in the year. In the last hours, as the majority leader 
described, late last evening, that provision was removed. I think the 
administration needs to take note of the fact that this report will be 
due at just the time this Senate and this Congress will be dealing with 
appropriations. And the appropriators and the authorizers who have been 
following this for a long time are going to keep right on doing that, 
and they eagerly await the report. You will not be able to remove 
Congress from this issue, and everybody should take note of that. Every 
friend of the hemisphere should take note of it.
  Madam President, I hope that this is interpreted throughout the 
hemisphere as an instrument of assistance, good will, rededication, 
compassion, and concern, because that is what was in the hearts and 
minds of all the Senators, and others, who worked to produce this 
  I want to particularly say thank you to Senator Feinstein, who has 
been at this job a lot longer than I, and I admire her work; Senator 
D'Amato of New York, who joined her last year; Senator Grassley, who is 
the chairman of our drug task force, who has worked tirelessly to deal 
with these problems; Senator Kerry of Massachusetts, who is a member of 
the Foreign Relations Committee and worked in these final negotiations; 
Senator McCain of Arizona; Senator Domenici of New Mexico, and, of 
course, our coauthor, the junior Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey 
Hutchison, who was in every step of the negotiations from the 
beginning. The prints of her work are fashioned into this resolution as 
well. I know I will have left somebody out and, for that, I apologize 
because it has been such a wide array of people who brought this 
resolution to the floor.

  There are many, many issues that are very important in the U.S. 
Congress, but I believe when you look at the hemisphere and all the 
opportunity in this hemisphere of democracies--40 percent of all United 
States exports occur in this hemisphere, which is much larger than 
Europe, and larger than the Pacific rim. We have a lot at stake, big 
time. But there is one cloud that hangs over us throughout the 
hemisphere, and it's the drug cartels. We have to restructure the 
battle. I hope this stands as a beginning to go to a new struggle and, 
ultimately, a victory.
  Madam President, parliamentary inquiry. Do you have the resolution? 
Has it been submitted?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The resolution is pending. The amendment has 
not been offered.

                            Amendment No. 25

                  (Purpose: To propose a substitute.)

  Mr. COVERDELL. Madam President, under the previous consent agreement, 
I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Georgia [Mr. Coverdell], for himself, Mrs. 
     Feinstein, Mr. Helms, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. McCain, Mr. 
     Domenici, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Dodd, Ms. Moseley-Braun, and Ms. 
     Landrieu, proposes an amendment numbered 25.

[[Page S2583]]

  Mr. COVERDELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

       Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 


       (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
       (1) The abuse of illicit drugs in the United States results 
     in 14,000 deaths per year, has inordinate social consequences 
     for the United States, and exacts economic costs in excess of 
     $67,000,000,000 per year to the American people.
       (2) An estimated 12,800,000 Americans, representing all 
     ethnic and socioeconomic groups, use illegal drugs, including 
     1,500,000 users of cocaine. Further, 10.9 percent of 
     Americans between 12 and 17 years of age use illegal drugs, 
     and one in four American children claim to have been offered 
     illegal drugs in the past year. Americans spend approximately 
     $49,000,000,000 per year on illegal drugs.
       (3) There is a need to continue and intensify anti-drug 
     education efforts in the United States, particularly 
     education directed at the young.
       (4) Significant quantities of heroin, methamphetamines, and 
     marijuana used in the United States are produced in Mexico, 
     and a major portion of the cocaine used in the United States 
     is imported into the United States through Mexico.
       (5) These drugs are moved illegally across the border 
     between Mexico and the United States by major criminal 
     organizations, which operate on both sides of that border and 
     maintain the illegal flow of drugs into Mexico and the United 
       (6) There is evidence of significant corruption affecting 
     institutions of the Government of Mexico (including the 
     police and military), including the arrest in February 1997 
     of General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, the head of the drug law 
     enforcement agency of Mexico, for accepting bribes from 
     senior leaders of the Mexican drug cartels. In 1996, the 
     Attorney General of Mexico dismissed more than 1,200 Mexico 
     federal law enforcement officers in an effort to eliminate 
     corruption, although some were rehired and none has been 
     successfully prosecuted for corruption. In the United States, 
     some law enforcement officials may also be affected by 
       (7) The success of efforts to control illicit drug 
     trafficking depends on improved coordination and cooperation 
     between Mexico and United States drug law enforcement 
     agencies and other institutions responsible for activities 
     against illicit production, traffic and abuse of drugs, 
     particularly in the common border region.
       (8) The Government of Mexico recognizes that it must 
     further develop the institutional financial regulatory and 
     enforcement capabilities necessary to prevent money 
     laundering in the banking and financial sectors of Mexico and 
     has sought United States assistance in these areas.
       (9) The Government of Mexico has recently approved, but has 
     yet to implement fully, new and more effective legislation 
     against organized crime and money laundering.
       (10) The Government of the United States and the Government 
     of Mexico are engaged in bilateral consideration of the 
     problems of illicit drug production, trafficking, and abuse 
     through the High Level Contact Group on Drug Control 
     established in 1996.
       (11) The President of Mexico has declared that drug 
     trafficking is the number one threat to the national security 
     of Mexico.
       (12) In December 1996, the Government of the United States 
     and the Government of Mexico joined with the governments of 
     other countries in the Western Hemisphere to seek to 
     eliminate all production, trafficking, and abuse of drugs and 
     to prevent money laundering.
       (13) Section 101 of division C of the Omnibus Consolidated 
     Appropriations Act, 1997 (Public Law 104-208) requires the 
     Attorney General to increase the number of positions for 
     full-time, active-duty patrol agents within the Immigration 
     and Naturalization Service by 1,000 per year through the year 
       (14) The proposed budget of the President for fiscal year 
     1998 includes a request for 500 such agents.
       (15) Drug cartels continue to operate with impunity in 
     Mexico, and effective action needs to be taken against 
     Mexican drug trafficking organizations, particularly the 
     Juarez and Tijuana cartels.
       (16) While Mexico has begun to extradite its citizens for 
     the first time and has cooperated by expelling or deporting 
     major international drug criminals, United States requests 
     for extradition of Mexican nationals indicted in United 
     States courts on drug-related charges have not been granted 
     by the Government of Mexico.
       (17) Cocaine seizures and arrests of drug traffickers in 
     Mexico have dropped since 1992.
       (18) United States law enforcement agents operating in 
     Mexico along the United States border with Mexico must be 
     allowed adequate protection.
       (b) Sense of Congress on Cooperation on Drugs by Countries 
     in the Western Hemisphere.--It is the sense of Congress to 
     urge the President, in his official visits in the Western 
     Hemisphere, to examine with leaders of governments of other 
     countries in the Western Hemisphere the effectiveness of 
     efforts to improve counterdrug activities in order to curtail 
     the production, traffic, and abuse of illicit drugs, and to 
     define plans for specific actions to improve cooperation on 
     such activities, including consideration of a coordinated 
     multilateral alliance.
       (c) Sense of Congress of Progress in Halting Production and 
     Traffic of Drugs in Mexico.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     there has been ineffective and insufficient progress in 
     halting the production in and transit through Mexico of 
     illegal drugs.
       (d) Report to Congress.--Not later than September 1, 1997, 
     the President shall submit to Congress a report describing 
     the following:
       (1) The extent of any significant and demonstrable progress 
     made by the Government of the United States and the 
     Government of Mexico, respectively, during the period 
     beginning on March 1, 1997, and ending on the date of the 
     report in achieving the following objectives relating to 
     counterdrug cooperation:
       (A) The investigation and dismantlement of the principal 
     organizations responsible for drug trafficking and related 
     crimes in both Mexico and the United States, including the 
     prevention and elimination of their activities, the 
     prosecution or extradition and incarceration of their 
     leaders, and the seizure of their assets.
       (B) The development and strengthening of permanent working 
     relationships between the United States and Mexico law 
     enforcement agencies, with particular reference to law 
     enforcement directed against drug trafficking and related 
     crimes, including full funding and deployment of the 
     Binational Border Task Forces as agreed upon by both 
       (C) The strengthening of bilateral border enforcement, 
     including more effective screening for and seizure of 
       (D) The denial of safe havens to persons and organizations 
     responsible for drug trafficking and related crimes and the 
     improvement of cooperation on extradition matters between 
     both countries.
       (E) The simplification of evidentiary requirements for 
     narcotics crimes and related crimes and for violence against 
     law enforcement officers.
       (F) The full implementation of effective laws and 
     regulations for banks and other financial institutions to 
     combat money laundering, including the enforcement of 
     penalties for noncompliance by such institutions, and the 
     prosecution of money launderers and seizure of their assets.
       (G) The eradication of crops destined for illicit drug use 
     in Mexico and in the United States in order to minimize and 
     eventually eliminate the production of such crops.
       (H) The establishment and implementation of a comprehensive 
     screening process to assess the suitability and financial and 
     criminal background of all law enforcement and other 
     officials involved in the fight against organized crime, 
     including narcotics trafficking.
       (I) The rendering of support to Mexico in its efforts to 
     identify, remove, and prosecute corrupt officials at all 
     levels of government, including law enforcement and military 
       (J) The augmentation and strengthening of bilateral 
       (2) The extent of any significant and demonstrable progress 
     made by the Government of the United States during the period 
     beginning on March 1, 1997, and ending on the date of the 
     report in--
       (A) implementing a comprehensive anti-drug education effort 
     in the United States targeted at reversing the rise in drug 
     use by America's youth;
       (B) implementing a comprehensive international drug 
     interdiction and enforcement strategy; and
       (C) deploying 1,000 additional active-duty, full-time 
     patrol agents within the Immigration and Naturalization 
     Service in fiscal year 1997 as required by section 101 of 
     division C of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
     1997 (Public Law 104-208).

  Mr. COVERDELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to add the 
name of Senator Landrieu of Louisiana as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Madam President, I yield the floor at this time.
  Mr. HELMS. Mr. President, I am genuinely grateful to the 
distinguished Senator from Georgia [Mr. Coverdell] and the 
distinguished Senator from California [Mrs. Feinstein] for their 
excellent work on this issue. They deserve credit for keeping the 
Senate focused on the question of Mexico's counterdrug cooperation with 
the United States.
  Through this resolution, Senators Coverdell and Feinstein, in a very 
fair and very essential way, have made clear the Senate's 
dissatisfaction with the status quo.
  Mr. President, I know of no Senator who was pleased with the 
President's decision to certify Mexico as cooperating fully with the 
United States; the evidence clearly supports a different conclusion. 
This resolution gives both the President of Mexico and President 
Clinton an opportunity for redemption.

[[Page S2584]]

  Mexico's President Zedillo has made numerous declarations against 
drug trafficking--which we applaud. Moreover, we recognize that 
President Zedillo is no Ernesto Samper. But, as for the two countries, 
Colombia and Mexico, the only difference between the two is that, in 
Colombia, the Presidency was bought and paid for by drug lords, while, 
in Mexico, the Presidency may be the only level of government not 
bought and paid for by the drug lords.
  Mr. President, U.S. law requires more than well-meaning statements 
for a nation to be certified as cooperating fully. Our law requires 
performance. In the case of Mexico, performance has fallen far short of 
the rhetoric.
  While the creation of bilateral commissions perhaps satisfies the 
bureaucratic need for meetings, meetings are meaningless unless they 
produce tangible results--arrests, convictions, and seizures.
  The same can be said of laws: The passage of new laws does not stop 
drug trafficking; enforcement of laws does. We are still waiting for 
any implementation whatsoever of the laws against organized crime and 
money laundering. Indeed, the latter's effect may have already been 
negated when Mexico expanded legalized gambling, a time-honored way for 
criminals to launder money.
  Corruption with impunity remains the modus operandi for the Federal 
Judicial Police, which more often resembles a criminal enterprise than 
a law enforcement agency. At the January wedding of drug kingpin Amado 
Carrillo Fuentes' sister, for example, policemen were guarding 
Carrillo's family and friends. This is further evidence that Mexican 
police are more likely to protect than arrest drug traffickers and 
their interests. Impunity is also the unwritten law for drug 
traffickers and their allies in official positions, such as Gen. Jesus 
Gutierrez Rebollo, Zedillo's drug czar.
  Here was a case in which the senior Mexican counternaroctics official 
was protecting the biggest Mexican drug kingpin, Amado Carrillo. The 
administration argues that the arrest of General Gutierrez Rebollo is 
evidence of the Mexican Government's commitment to fight corruption. My 
questions are: Why was he ever hired in the first place as Mexico's 
senior counternarcotics official? Was this an intelligence failure? 
What damage has Gutierrez Rebollo done to compromise law enforcement 
and intelligence operations against the drug cartels? And are U.S. law 
enforcement agents now at greater risk because of this fiasco?
  Mr. President, this is not an isolated incident. Just this past 
Monday, on March 17, another Mexican Army general was arrested for drug 
corruption. It seems that on the day the administration certified the 
Mexican Government's cooperation with United States counterdrug 
efforts, this general was offering a Mexican official $1 million in 
exchange for allowing cocaine shipments to pass through Tijuana.
  In Mexico, corruption is not confined to the federal government. It 
is equally pervasive at the state and local levels. Just last week, a 
judge in Guadalajara dropped charges against a major drug trafficker. 
Also, according to credible reports, a number of state governors, who 
are also prominent within the ruling PRI party, have been on the drug 
traffickers' payroll. As long ago as 1989, I cited one of these 
governors, Manuel Bartlett, as one senior official compromised by drug 
  Mr. President, I won't cite all the statistics that show that, over 
the past 6 years, arrests of drug traffickers and cocaine seizures have 
decreased significantly in Mexico, while the volume of cocaine, heroin 
and methamphetamine going through or coming from Mexico increases. 
Despite this record, the United States has continuously pretended that 
the Mexican Government has been a faithful partner in the fight against 
illegal drugs. The vast majority of the Mexican people are our allies; 
but I have grave reservations about most of the Mexican Government.
  The President and Barry McCaffrey, amongst others, have spoken 
eloquently about the horrors of drug use on our streets, recognizing 
that this scourge is destroying lives throughout this hemisphere. The 
American and Mexican people deserve better. Silence is tacit consent to 
this corruption which allows the drug trade to flourish. Only by 
exposing the corruption can we begin to make a genuine difference in 
attacking this evil.
  In this light, Mr. President, the refusal to recognize the marriage 
between Mexican Government officials and drug traffickers is all the 
more troubling. Congress must make known its disagreement with the 
conclusion that the Mexican Government is cooperating fully.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I ask to be recognized for such time 
as I might consume within the hour allocated to me.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Ashcroft). The Senator is recognized.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Thank you, very much.
  Mr. President, this country has always had a great debate about 
drugs. Do you fight drugs on the supply side, or do you fight drugs on 
the demand side? There is no question but that we have a demand 
problem. But there is also no question that we have a supply problem. 
My answer to that is that this country has never really done both 
really well. We have never really engaged in an all-out fight against 
drugs on both the supply side and the demand side.
  What is before us today is somewhat limited in scope because it has 
to do with the certification action involving Mexico and whether that 
action should, in fact, take place; whether Mexico should be certified, 
as the President said.
  The resolution now before this body, known as the Coverdell-Feinstein 
amendment, I think is significant. Let me tell you the two ways that I 
look at this.
  This resolution is either the first step to a new and forceful 
partnership to fight drugs all out on both the supply side and the 
demand side, and to join with Mexico in so doing, to accept President 
Zedillo's statement that drugs are the No. 1 security problem of 
Mexico, and to add to that the United States statement that drugs are, 
in fact, the No. 1 security problem for the United States of America, 
which I believe them to be, or this is the first step in a major battle 
next year, if this resolution is ignored, to decertify Mexico as being 
noncooperative in the supply side of the cooperation that goes into the 
retardation of drug flow into this country.
  Mr. President, I want to begin by once again paying my respects to 
the Senator from Georgia, the chairman of the Western Hemisphere 
Subcommittee, Senator Coverdell. He and I share a dedication to the 
idea that the status quo on United States-Mexican counterdrug 
cooperation is simply not acceptable, and his leadership on this issue 
has helped us reach this point. It has been an honor and a privilege to 
be his partner in this effort. And I look forward to continuing to work 
with him and his outstanding staff in the fight against international 
drug trafficking.
  I also want to acknowledge the Senator from Texas, Senator Hutchison, 
whose contribution to this effort was invaluable. Her State, like mine, 
shares a long border with Mexico. So this issue hits home to us in a 
direct and a meaningful way. Other Senators too numerous to list, with 
names like Dodd, Kerry, McCain, Domenici, as well as others, the 
majority leader, the Democratic leader, have all weighed in to bring 
this effort to fruition. And I have appreciated working with each and 
every one of my colleagues to get to this outcome.
  Just over a year ago, as has been said, Senator D'Amato and I started 
talking about whether Mexico merited certification as a fully 
cooperative partner in the war against drugs. Our view was that Mexico 
had simply not made enough progress in the war on drug trafficking to 
justify certification. At that time, despite the fact that we laid down 
10 specific criteria, no one paid us much attention.
  Well, people have paid attention this year. On February 28 of this 
year, the President made the decision to certify Mexico as fully 
cooperating with the United States in the fight against drug 
trafficking. But it just didn't wash in the Congress. The evidence 
simply does not support the claim that Mexico met the standard of full 
cooperation in 1996.
  As all of my colleagues are well aware, Senate procedures made it 
impossible for us to get a vote on what many of us believed was the 
best option--to decertify Mexico but allow the

[[Page S2585]]

President to waive the sanctions based on what is termed a ``national 
interest waiver.'' If decertification with a waiver had come up for a 
vote I believe it would have passed the Senate by a large and even 
possibly veto-proof margin. I do not say that lightly. In the House, it 
would have passed overwhelmingly. Instead, the House passed with over 
250 votes a resolution that decertifies Mexico in 90 days unless 
specific conditions are met.

  So this resolution, which we will pass today, expresses Congress' 
deep concern over the lack of progress in key areas of Mexico's 
counterdrug effort.
  Let me quote from subsection (c) of the amendment. ``It is the sense 
of the Congress that there has been ineffective and insufficient 
progress in halting the production in, and transit through, Mexico of 
illegal drugs.''
  This statement has never before been made by this body and the other 
body in concert. And I believe it will be, and no one should 
underestimate what that means.
  In short, while we could not decertify Mexico, the Congress rejects 
the administration's claim that Mexico has fully cooperated with the 
United States. The evidence I believe is overwhelming. Last week, I 
tried to lay this case out with some specificity, the case that Mexico 
has not earned decertification. I will not repeat here all of the facts 
to prove that Mexico has not met the test of full cooperation. But let 
me just remind my colleagues of a few of those facts.
  No. 1, cocaine seizures by Mexican authorities in 1996, 23.6 metric 
tons, were barely half of what they were in 1993 when there were 46.2 
metric tons. You see how they have dropped and how they have barely 
picked up this past year.
  Drug related arrests in 1996 were 11,038, less than half of what they 
were in 1992. In 1992, what I am saying is that the cooperative effort 
on arrests was double what it has been this past year. And these are 
specific measurements that can't be challenged. They are there. You 
have to look at them.
  Another way of measuring this, for those of us that are familiar with 
how drugs reverberate on streets, is whether street prices are dropping 
or rising. If the street prices for cocaine and for heroin drop on the 
streets, you know there is more supply.
  If they rise on the streetcorners of New York and Los Angeles and 
Chicago and Dallas and other cities in this Nation, then you know there 
is less supply. Let us for a moment take a major city, a huge city, 
over 6 million people in Los Angeles, and let us look at street prices. 
The street prices of cocaine today, in Los Angeles, are 22 percent 
lower than they were in 1993. This is for a kilogram, $21,000 in 1993, 
dropping to $16,000 today.
  Let us take a look at the street value of black tar heroin, almost 
entirely transferred to the United States from Mexico. Here is the 
street value of this black tar heroin in California.
  In 1993, per ounce, it was $1,200. Look at it go straight down. 
Today, it is $400. Part of that is the fact that it is in competition 
with the pure white cocaine that comes from other places, but still the 
black tar heroin is heavily used by addicts, and you can see the drop 
in the street price, which clearly means more supply.
  Then you take the major traffickers. What has happened is that as the 
Cali cartels of Colombia become less potent in this area, the Mexican 
cartels have become more potent. Specifically, Senator Coverdell 
enumerated four of them--the Juarez, Tijuana, Sonora, and Gulf cartels. 
And our DEA has clearly stated to us in testimony, written and verbal, 
that the Mexican major drug cartels today are operating with impunity, 
and even the State Department admits that ``the strongest groups such 
as the Juarez and Tijuana cartels have yet to be effectively 
  Mexican cartels have assassinated 12 high-level prosecutors and 
senior law enforcement officers in just the last year. Here is the 
clincher. None of these murders has been solved. Twelve major Federal 
and statewide prosecutors, sometimes the head prosecutor, people who 
want to do a good job, have been assassinated for doing that good job. 
It has often been said that those they cannot buy, the cartels will 
  Corruption is endemic in Mexico's Government, police, and military. 
The Mexican drug czar was arrested for corruption as was another senior 
army general just 2 days ago. DEA Administrator Constantine has said 
``there is not one single law enforcement institution in Mexico with 
whom DEA has an entirely trusting relationship.''
  Mexico has enacted money laundering legislation last year. So far the 
legislation has not been implemented. Banking regulations were finally 
issued last week, 2 months late, but they do not take effect until May, 
and their effectiveness has not yet been evaluated.
  Mexico has failed to adequately fund the Binational Border Task 
Forces agreed to by the two sides in a much touted bilateral meeting, 
and as we all know, to this day Mexico has forbidden our DEA agents 
taking part in these border task forces, if they cross the border from 
our country to Mexico, to carry sidearms to protect themselves on that 
side of the border.
  Mexico has refused to allow United States Navy ships patrolling for 
drug smugglers to put into Mexican ports to refuel without 30 days' 
  The reason this is so important is that if you are trailing a ship, 
whether it is a fishing vessel or another maritime vessel, you may need 
to pursue it into Mexican waters. More drugs are now coming into our 
country via maritime channels. Fishing boats, commercial boats, ships, 
and other maritime transportation devices are today carrying increased 
tonnage of drugs. If we have a Coast Guard ship tracking one of these 
vessels, it may have to put into port--and the Mexican traffickers have 
become very sophisticated about moving out, taking the time so that 
they know the ship following them needs to refuel. If our vessels have 
to put in, they cannot because our ships have to give 30-day notice 
before they refuel.
  Well, of course, one of the biggest tonnages of cocaine transferred 
through maritime channels actually was a ship leaving Peru which our 
Navy was able to get to, but the cartels are very smart. They learn how 
to prevent this from happening. So this is an important area.

  And then finally a battle that we have had back and forth--and I 
still hold fast to this statement--Mexico has never extradited a single 
Mexican national to the United States on drug charges despite 52 
extradition requests, for at least 13 of which the paperwork has been 
completed. Now they have made advances, they have begun to extradite 
Mexican nationals on other charges, and I think they should be 
commended for that. But that is not yet full cooperation.
  So I think the record is clear. It is not credible to make claim that 
Mexico has fully cooperated with the United States in combating drug 
trafficking, and that is the standard required by section 490 of the 
Foreign Assistance Act.
  Despite these facts, the claim has been made by the administration 
that progress has been made, and I respect that. The administration has 
said that they believe some of the things I have just alluded to are in 
the process of being corrected. That is why originally we felt it was 
so important to have this body be able to monitor progress, comment on 
progress on September 1 in an expedited way, and make a finding if we 
found the progress inadequate.
  That has been removed from this resolution, but the administration 
will still report on progress. You can be sure that I and others in 
this body will come to the floor and make our comments on September 2 
or 3 or 4 or 5 on whether we regard this progress as being adequate.
  So as we engaged in negotiations with the administration over the 
past week on this resolution, it was extremely important to put into 
place a mechanism by which we could hold the administration 
accountable. We have compromised here. But we also have 10 specifics. 
Subsection (d) requires the President to support on progress in 10 
specific areas--and I urge Members to begin to look at this. It begins 
on page 6 of the resolution following this historic statement that ``it 
is the sense of Congress that there has been ineffective and 
insufficient progress in halting the production and transit through 
Mexico of illegal drugs.'' We say that not later than September 1 the 
President shall submit to the Congress a report and then we list 10 
areas of concern to be addressed in the report. Let me outline those 10 

[[Page S2586]]

  The first is effective action to dismantle the major drug cartels and 
arrest and extradite their leaders. This goes specifically to the two 
most powerful groups, the Juarez and Tijuana cartels, as well as others 
like the Sonora and the Gulf cartels.
  Second, better cooperation between the United States and Mexican law 
enforcement including the funding and deployment of the Binational 
Border Task Forces and allowing United States agents in these forces to 
arm themselves for self-defense. That is the implication. By September 
1 we will know whether it has been achieved or not. The answer then 
will be yes or no.
  Third, better enforcement at the border. This means increased 
screening for and seizures of contraband. It also means, and Senator 
Hutchison was very effective in incorporating this into our resolution, 
that we call for the funding and the assignment of an additional 1,000 
agents on the border this next year. The administration's budget has 
funding for 500. Let me say to the administration, from this side of 
the aisle, that is not adequate. We are asking for 1,000, by official 
action, incorporated in this legislation.
  Improved cooperation on extraditions--that is the fourth. This goes 
specifically to the need for Mexico to extradite Mexican nationals who 
are wanted in the United States on drug charges. A good start would be 
the 13 such requests pending. There are several dozen more on the way. 
On September 1, we will see how many extraditions there have been.
  Fifth states easier rules of prosecution of drug traffickers. At the 
present time, the evidentiary rules in Mexico--and Mexico is aware of 
this--are such that, in their country it is very difficult to come by a 
  Sixth, full and ongoing implementation of effective money laundering 
legislation and enforced regulations--for banks and other financial 
institutions--these are the money-changing houses outside of banks--
with penalties and sanctions for those who do not comply and immunity 
for those who help, so people who turn in money launderers will not be 
assassinated. We are hopeful--and I commend Mexico for taking action in 
this regard--we are hopeful that last week's progress in issuing these 
regulations will lead, now, to effective enforcement. We all know it is 
one thing to have something on the books, it is another thing to see 
that something is carried out and enforced. On September 1, Senator 
Coverdell and I and others will both be looking at these. Are they in 
place? Have they been effected? Have they been enforced?
  Seventh, increased eradication of drug crops, including marijuana and 
opium--this is the seventh. We hope and expect that eradication figures 
will increase this year. I believe our Nation is prepared to play a 
role in any binational cooperation that the Mexican Government would 
wish in that regard.
  Eighth, implementation of a comprehensive screening program to 
identify, weed out, and prosecute corrupt officials at all levels of 
the Mexican Government, police, and military. This means vigorous 
screening of candidates before they are hired, not rehiring corrupt 
policemen after their dismissal, and prosecution of those found to be 
corrupt. We commend Mexico for firing 1,250 law enforcement officers. 
The problem is, none were prosecuted. That is the problem. And we are 
asking for cooperation.
  I think it is worth noting that the Los Angeles Times reported 
yesterday that 3 percent of the Mexican police tested positive for drug 
use in a recent survey. This was 3 percent of Federal personnel 
screened. I think it added up to some 424 Federal law enforcement 
officers who failed drug tests. We have that same problem in our 
Nation. So we admit it and we try and screen. We are asking our partner 
in Mexico to do the same thing.
  Ninth, we have a clause in there regarding support by the United 
States of Mexico's efforts to combat corruption. I cannot conclude 
without saying that Mexico has made efforts. I believe Mexico has made 
efforts. I simply question the adequacy of those efforts. But, for 
those efforts that have been made, we should provide support, and I 
believe every Member of this Congress, and certainly this Senate, wants 
to do so. So, this clause reads, ``the rendering of support to Mexico 
in its efforts to identify, remove and prosecute corrupt officials''--
they would ask us for that support, but we would certainly say that 
support would be forthcoming.
  The 10th and final provision calls for ``the augmentation and 
strengthening of bilateral cooperation.'' This is not specific in the 
law we are writing. It is nonspecific. At the administration's request, 
we removed a direct reference to air and maritime cooperation. But I 
think the record should show that Congress does expect this report to 
discuss progress made in areas such as aircraft overflight and 
refueling rights, aircraft radar coverage, and maritime refueling 

  I look forward to receiving this report on September 1. The record 
will reflect that, and Senator Coverdell and I and Senator Hutchison 
and others, come September 1, as sure as the sun will come up, we will 
make an inquiry to see what the progress has been. And if the Congress 
finds the progress cited by the administration to be inadequate, it 
will no doubt find ways to respond.
  This report, in essence, in addition to the findings carried up front 
in this resolution and the two senses of the Senate, urging the 
President on his visit to put forward this new, multilateral 
cooperative, hemispheric drive, if you will, reflect a new strategy, a 
new plan, new bilateral cooperation, and the specific sense of the 
Senate, and our conclusions as to why we would have to say there has 
not been full cooperation up to this point.
  I very much hope, in summary, that there will be a very strong vote 
in this Chamber for this resolution. If it passes, I have been assured 
by John Hilley of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs and 
General McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control 
Policy, that the administration will work hard to get this resolution 
passed by the House. If they do, I believe it will pass the House. John 
Hilley and General McCaffrey also assured me that the President will 
sign this resolution as passed by the Senate.
  We, for the first time in history, will have passed a law, not a 
sense of the Senate resolution, but a law which states a purpose, which 
states a new effort, which states specifics, and which asks that on 
both the supply side and the demand side there be a new effort by both 
the United States of America and the sovereign, independent country of 
Mexico, to address the drug problem together, both on the demand side 
here with us and the supply side there with Mexico.
  It is a very important, significant piece of legislation. I believe, 
I sincerely believe, it can have major, long-term impact. If it does 
not, the alternative is very clear next year. It is very clear. And it 
will not be just Senator D'Amato and I next year, or Senator Coverdell 
and I, and Senator Hutchison and others, and hopefully a majority this 
year. It will be a full-blown effort to see that this progress is 
carefully evaluated. And whatever action we must take, we will, in 
fact, take.
  Mr. President, let me express my thanks to the distinguished Senator 
from New Mexico, Senator Bingaman, for lifting his objection. I know he 
has very deep and heartfelt feelings about the Chemical Weapons 
Convention. I have said to him informally, and I will say here, I will 
certainly do everything I possibly can to provide him with any help I 
can give, to see that it comes to the floor. But I am very pleased he 
has withdrawn his objection and we will be able to bring this debate to 
a conclusion with a vote on this resolution.
  Mr. President, I ask how much time remains on my hour?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California has 31 minutes of 
time remaining.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I thank the Chair. Mr. President, I yield the floor 
and reserve the remainder of my time.
  Mr. COVERDELL addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, before the Senator from California 
leaves, I want to express my gratitude for her tireless work. I do want 
to mention, while she is here, a debt I believe we both owe to the 
chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Helms of North 
Carolina hovered over these efforts throughout, and as late as minutes 
before an accord was struck,

[[Page S2587]]

personally heard out all the suggestions that had been made, 
compromises, and I believe was a major contributor to the conclusion by 
his attention, concurrence and coauthorship of this provision. I know 
the Senator from California would acknowledge that as well.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Will the Senator yield for a moment?
  Mr. COVERDELL. I yield.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Thank you very much. I would like to acknowledge 
that. The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee is, in fact, a 
cosponsor of this legislation. Like me, he had very strong feelings, 
and I know when you have very strong feelings, compromise is difficult. 
He did do that. I am very thankful, because I think we have a very 
strong piece of legislation as a result, and his support was certainly 
vital and, I think, crucial to getting this resolution on the floor and 
getting the vote that, hopefully, we will get. So I thank the Senator 
from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I thank Senator Feinstein. Mr. President, also thank 
Dan Fisk and Elizabeth DeMoss from Senator Helms' Foreign Relation 
Committee staff, Dan Shapiro with Senator Feinstein, Randy Scheunemann 
on the majority leader's staff, and especially Terri Delgadillo and 
Steve Schrage of my staff.
  I yield up to 10 minutes of my time to the distinguished Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas is recognized.
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Thank you, Mr. President. I commend Senator 
Coverdell, in particular, for his leadership on this issue, his hard 
work and, along with him, Senator Feinstein, Senator Helms, the 
chairman, Senator McCain, Senator Dodd, Senator Hutchison, and the 
leaders for the hard work they put in. Certainly they put in many, many 
hours working to resolve a very thorny and very difficult issue.
  Having said that, it is with regret and some reservation that I say I 
believe the resolution before us today is totally insufficient. We have 
now taken a very substantive and meaningful action against a poor 
decision by the Clinton administration and turned it into a political 
football and, Mr. President, I believe we have fumbled the football on 
the goal line.
  While I realize the outcome of this vote is evident, it is clear I 
cannot, in good conscience, stay silent and not speak to the 
deficiencies of the resolution on which we will be casting our votes.
  As best I can tell, while the resolution says many good things, while 
it says some very meaningful things, when you boil it all down and when 
you look at it, the essence of what we get from this resolution is a 
report that we are asking the administration, we are telling the 
administration to give us in a few months, and that, after all is said 
and done, is all there is to it.
  I hold in my hand several newspaper accounts, recent newspaper 
articles which raise serious questions as to the efficacy of the 
Mexican Government's counternarcotics efforts. Let me just give you 
some of the headlines:
  ``Another Mexican General is Arrested and Charged with Links to Drug 
  ``2nd Mexican General Faces Drug Charges.''
  ``424 Fail Drug Exams in Mexican Law Enforcement.''
  The list goes on and on. I ask unanimous consent that these articles 
be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                  [The New York Times, Mar. 18, 1997]

  Another Mexican General Is Arrested and Charged With Links to Drug 

     (New proof that traffickers have corrupted high levels of 
     Mexico's military)

                           (By Julia Preston)

       Mexico City, March 17.--A Mexican Army brigadier general 
     was arrested today on charges that he offered a multimillion-
     dollar bribe to a top Mexican law enforcement official on 
     behalf of a notorious cocaine cartel.
       Brig. Gen. Alfredo Navarro Lara is the second high-ranking 
     military officer to be jailed on drug-related charges in a 
     month. His arrest is new proof that traffickers have 
     succeeded in corrupting the highest levels of the Mexican 
     armed forces.
       Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, a division general who was the 
     head of the federal drug agency, was arrested on Feb. 18 and 
     accused of protecting and receiving benefits from Mexico's 
     most powerful drug lord, Amado Carrillo Fuentes.
       Today's arrest also indicates that competing drug gangs 
     have divided the officer corps in their campaign to buy 
     protection. General Navarro Lara is accused of trying to buy 
     off the authorities in the border state of Baja California in 
     the service of the Arellano Felix brothers, a criminal cartel 
     that has waged a bloody war across northern Mexico against 
     the rival band of Mr. Carrillo Fuentes.
       The only announcement of General Navarro Lara's arrest came 
     in a terse press release tonight by the office of Attorney 
     General Jorge Madrazo Cuellar. Neither Mr. Madrazo nor any 
     Defense Ministry official was available for further comment.
       According to the release, General Navarro Lara invited the 
     top federal justice official in Baja California to a private 
     meeting in a ``luxurious suite'' in a Tijuana hotel early 
     this month. The general is said to have offered the official, 
     Jose Luis Chavez Garcia, who is also an army brigadier 
     general, payments amounting to $1 million a month in 
     return for cooperation in allowing cocaine and other 
     narcotics to pass through the state en route across the 
     border into the United States.
       General Navarro Lara is said to have conveyed a threat from 
     the Arellano Felix brothers that they would kill General 
     Chavez Garcia and his family if he refused to agree to the 
       A justice official who formerly held the top post in Baja 
     California, Ernesto Ibarra Santes, was shot dead in Mexico 
     City in September 1996. Several gunmen arrested in that 
     killing were known to be hired members of the Arellano Felix 
       General Navarro Lara was formally charged today with drug 
     trafficking and racketeering and was confined to a maximum 
     security penitentiary on the outskirts of Mexico City. He was 
     described in news reports here as a commander in a military 
     region with headquarters in the central city of Guadalajara, 
     where General Gutierrez Rebollo also served.
       In his first sworn statements taken at the prison, General 
     Navarro Lara admitted making the bribe offer but said he had 
     not taken any payments from the Arellano Felix brothers and 
     only cooperated with them after they threatened to kill one 
     of his children.
       The arrest comes as President Ernesto Zedillo is struggling 
     to rebuild Mexico's anti-narcotics program after the 
     devastating arrest of General Gutierrez Rebollo, under 
     pressure from the United States Congress, which is moving to 
     reverse President Clinton's recent decision to certify Mexico 
     as a fully cooperating ally in the drug war.
       Mr. Zedillo has said he is determined to detect and arrest 
     officials implicated in the drug trade no matter how high 
     their rank.
       Last week Mr. Zedillo chose a civilian official with no 
     narcotics investigating experience, Mariano F. Herran, to 
     replace General Gutierrez Rebollo as head of the drug agency.

            [L.A. Times/News/Nation & World, Mar. 18, 1997]

               Second Mexican General Faces Drug Charges

                           (By Mark Fineman)

       Mexico City.--For the second time in a month, federal 
     authorities here Monday announced the arrest of an army 
     general on drug charges. The senior officer was accused of 
     offering $1 million a month to Mexico's top counter-narcotics 
     official in Tijuana to protect one of the country's largest 
     drug cartels--and of threatening to kill him and his family 
     if he refused.
       The attorney general's office announced late Monday that 
     Brig. Gen. Alfredo Navarro Lara had been charged with drug 
     corruption, bribery and criminal association and jailed 
     earlier in the day outside Mexico City in the Almoloya de 
     Juarez high-security federal prison.
       On Feb. 18, Gen. Jose de Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, then 
     Mexico's anti-drug czar, was sent to Almoloya after he was 
     charged with taking bribes to protect the nation's most 
     powerful drug-trafficking cartel, allegedly headed by Amado 
     Carrillo Fuentes.
       Gutierrez's arrest last month stunned a nation unaccustomed 
     to drug corruption within its army and sent shock waves as 
     far as Washington just two weeks before the Clinton 
     administration recertified Mexico as a U.S. ally in the drug 
     war. President Clinton cited the arrest as evidence that 
     Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo is committed to rooting out 
     drug corruption--even in the nation's powerful army.
       But U.S. congressional concerns that widespread official 
     drug corruption here had compromised U.S. intelligence and 
     drug enforcement efforts helped drive the House to pass a 
     resolution decertifying Mexico last week.
       As the Senate begins debate this week on that 
     decertification resolution--which Clinton has vowed to veto--
     Navarro's arrest Monday further demonstrated both the depth 
     of drug corruption in Mexico and Zedillo's resolve to punish 

                           *   *   *   *   *


 Mexico Let Suspected Drug Trafficker Move $168 Million Out of Several 

 (By Wall Street Journal staff reporters Laurie Hays and Michael Allen 
              in New York and Craig Torres in Mexico City)

       Mexican officials failed to stop a major suspected drug 
     trafficker from spiriting

[[Page S2588]]

     away $168 million despite a joint U.S.-Mexican effort to 
     freeze his bank accounts, U.S. officials allege.
       The money transfers, which effectively crippled an 
     ambitious bilateral investigation into Mexican money 
     laundering, came just weeks before President Clinton 
     certified that Mexico was cooperating fully in the 
     international drug fight, U.S. officials say. The episode is 
     likely to fuel congressional criticism of the decision.
       Clinton administration officials themselves have sharply 
     criticized Mexico's handling of the affair. Testifying before 
     a Senate panel earlier this month, Deputy Treasury Secretary 
     Lawrence Summers said he had registered ``our strong 
     protest'' at the failure to freeze the money.
       A spokesman for the Justice Department said agency 
     officials, along with those from the State and Treasury 
     departments, had a ``face-to-face confrontation'' with 
     Mexican officials over the incident. He declined to 
       Mexican officials involved in the matter disputed the U.S. 
     version of events.
       The case centers on the Gaxiola Medina family, a prominent 
     clan that runs a local lumber-distribution business in the 
     northern Mexican state of Sonora.

                      indictment in united states

       In May 1994, a federal grand jury in Detroit indicted 
     Rigoberto Gaxiola Medina on charges that he ran a trafficking 
     organization that distributed more than 2,200 pounds of 
     marijuana in the U.S. beginning in 1992. The indictment lists 
     25 other defendants.
       According to the indictment, the operation loaded marijuana 
     on trucks in Tucson, Ariz., and delivered it throughout the 
     U.S. Sales proceeds were allegedly collected in Michigan and 
     wired to Mexican banks.

                    banco mexicano and banca serfin

       Mr. Gaxiola Medina didn't enter a plea in the case and 
     couldn't immediately be located for comment.
       The U.S. Customs Service began a money-laundering 
     investigation into the money transfers in April 1996, 
     according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. agents 
     contacted Mexican Finance Ministry officials, who in turn 
     traced almost $184 million in deposits to 15 Mexican bank 
     accounts. The Finance Ministry put in an official request to 
     the Mexican attorney general's office on Jan. 8 to freeze the 
     accounts, these people add, but when the money was frozen on 
     Jan. 20, only $16 million remained.
       Customs officials were notified by the Mexicans on Feb. 27 
     that the money was gone, these people add--one day before the 
     White House's decision to certify Mexico was announced.
       ``Let's just say we gave them the information and they 
     weren't as successful as everyone would have hoped in seizing 
     it,'' said Allan Doody, director of financial investigations 
     for U.S. Customs. ``I would say the Mexican government is 
     looking into exactly what happened. Right now nobody knows 
     where the money went.''
       Three Mexican officials involved in the case said it isn't 
     clear when the money left the accounts. They say roughly $183 
     million arrived from U.S. and Mexican banks into accounts 
     controlled by the Gaxiola Medina family. But the officials 
     deny that most of this money was transferred out of those 
     accounts in 1997. ``The most logical hypothesis is that the 
     money left over a period of time,'' said one official. 
     ``These are high turnover accounts.''

                        role of finance ministry

       U.S. officials said they believe the Mexican Finance 
     Ministry, which has authority over certain Mexican money-
     laundering regulations, acted honorably. Suspicion of 
     wrongdoing centers on the Mexican attorney general's office, 
     which Mexican officials themselves acknowledge is rife with 
     corruption. The Mexican general running the attorney 
     general's antiarcotics program at the time of the incident 
     was later arrested on charges that he took bribes from a 
     powerful drug lord.
       Reports of the money disappearance first appeared in the 
     Mexican newspaper El Universal.
       Members of the Gaxiola Medina family couldn't be reached 
     for comment. Regoberto Gaxiola Medina is listed in corporate 
     records as the divisional administrator of the family wood 
     business, known as Grupo Industrial Gaxiola Hermanos SA, but 
     it wasn't immediately clear whether he was the same person 
     indicted in Detroit.
       Pedro Garcia Palzzuelos, an attorney for the Gaxiola 
     Medinas, said the family businesses naturally deal in large 
     sums of money and foreign exchange. Mexican law-enforcement 
     officials ``didn't encounter any crime related to drug 
     trafficking and they aren't going to find one,'' said Mr. 
     Garcia Palazuelos, adding that there isn't ``proof of money 
       U.S. officials have long worried about Mexico's role in 
     laundering drug profits. ``Given the primary methods used to 
     move narcotics proceeds in the mid-90s, Mexico's financial 
     system has become the indispensable money-laundering center 
     for criminal organizations throughout the Americas,'' the 
     State Department wrote in its latest overview of narcotics 

  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. President, the importance of Mexico's full 
cooperation with the United States antinarcotics efforts cannot, I 
believe, be overstated. Drug use among American teenagers has nearly 
doubled in the last 5 years. More importantly, more than 70 percent of 
illegal narcotics coming into the United States flow through Mexico. I 
know that many of those drugs originate in Colombia, incidentally, 
which we decertified, but 70 percent of those coming into the United 
States now flow through the nation of Mexico.
  Mr. President, as we all know, on February 28, the Clinton 
administration certified that Mexico cooperated fully with United 
States efforts to combat international narcotics trafficking during 
1996. However, on February 27, the day before, the administration 
received a bipartisan letter from 39 Senators--I signed it, Senator 
Feinstein signed it, and many of my colleagues signed it--urging our 
Government to deny certification to Mexico. The facts unequivocally 
show us that Mexico has not--I say, has not--fully cooperated with us.
  Not one Mexican national out of the 100 or more that the United 
States wants for trial here on serious drug charges has been extradited 
to the United States, despite our Government's numerous requests. Not 
one has been extradited.
  Our own DEA Administrator, Tom Constantine, has recently said:

       There has been little or no effective action taken against 
     the major Mexico-based cartels. . .

  Then he said:

       The Mexicans are now the single most powerful trafficking 
     group--worse than the Colombian cartels.

  So while we are willing to decertify Colombia, our own DEA 
Administrator says Mexico is now worse, and we are going to certify 
them. You explain to me the logic in that, explain to me the 
consistency in that, explain to me how we, in good conscience, can do 
  Mexico's counternarcotics effort is plagued by corruption in the 
government and the national police. Among the evidence are the eight 
prosecutors and law enforcement officials who have been murdered in 
Tijuana in recent months. Furthermore, the revelation that General 
Rebollo, Mexican's top narcotics official and a 42-year veteran of the 
armed forces, had accepted bribes from the Carrillo-Fuentes cartels 
casts grave doubts on Mexico's ability to curb corruption at the 
highest level of its government. Corruption is now, in fact, pervasive 
in the Mexican Government.
  Mr. President, we in this body must all be well aware that Mexico 
continues to be a major transit point for cocaine illegally entering 
the United States from South America, as well as a major source country 
for heroin and marijuana.
  The 1997 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, issued by 
the United States State Department, explicitly notes that Mexico is the 
transshipment point for 50 to 60 percent--50 to 60 percent--of the 
United States-bound cocaine shipments and up to 80 percent of the meth 
precursors. This report notes that in 1996, Mexico supplied 20 to 30 
percent of the heroin and up to 80 percent of the foreign-grown 
marijuana entering the United States of America.
  The fact is that four Mexican drug trafficking organizations dominate 
the narcotics trade between the United States and Mexico. The DEA calls 
these groups the ``Mexican federation'' and estimates that they gross 
$10 billion to $30 annually in drug sales. Mr. President, those drug 
sales are to our children, to our Nation and to our culture, and they 
threaten the very future of our Nation.
  On February 28, 7 hours after the President announced his 
certification of Mexico, again with the full knowledge of congressional 
disapproval, Mexico's Attorney General's office issued a statement that 
its own senior officials had released Humberto Garcia Abrego, a reputed 
money launderer and brother of convicted drug kingpin, Juan Garcia 
Abrego. We do not know whether he was released earlier--whether it 
occurred on the 28th or earlier--with the announcement being held until 
after the President's certification decision was made public. But, 
again, we see how this country has been treated over a decade of this 
certification process.
  Mr. President, I ask you, can we not do better? Tom Constantine said, 
in short, there is not one single law enforcement institution in Mexico 
with whom DEA has an entirely trusting relationship. Can we not do 
better than

[[Page S2589]]

that, certifying a country that cannot fully cooperate with our 
counterdrug efforts? What message does this send to our children about 
the seriousness of the drug war? Our children are the real victims of 
this policy.
  I have heard the repeated argument that if the narcotics market in 
the United States was not so bloated, then there would be no reason for 
a continual supply of drugs coming across our borders. Supply and 
demand. Quite frankly, I agree with that assertion. However, let's 
tackle that issue in the crime bill, not on the certification of a 
foreign country not being cooperative with our efforts.
  I am committed to winning the war on drugs, and we can only do that 
by championing the causes to reduce the amount of drugs in this 
country, appropriating funds for antinarcotics efforts, and assisting 
the DEA in the fight. But Mexico has not been helpful, and that is the 
fact and that is the truth.
  It is ironic, I think, that while we stand aside and certify Mexico's 
full cooperation, we pass a resolution that asserts that in fact that 
has not been the case.
  I have the joint resolution before me. It says this:

       There is evidence of significant corruption affecting 
     institutions of the Government of Mexico (including the 
     police and military). . . .

  It says this:

       In 1996, the Attorney General of Mexico dismissed more than 
     1,200 Mexico federal law enforcement officers . . . although 
     some were rehired and none [none] has been successfully 
     prosecuted for corruption.

  We are going to say, through the certification of Mexico, that they 
have been fully cooperative when that is not the reality of the 
resolution that we are passing.
  We say in the resolution:

       The Government of Mexico has recently approved, but has yet 
     to implement fully, new and more effective legislation 
     against organized crime and money laundering.

  That is what we say in the resolution we are going to vote for, which 
flies absolutely in the face of the certification of Mexico.
  The resolution says:

       Drug cartels continue to operate with impunity in Mexico, 
     and effective action needs to be taken. . . .

  And yet we are going to certify Mexico as being fully cooperative and 
making progress.
  We have a resolution that we are going to vote on that says:

       Cocaine seizures and arrests of drug traffickers in Mexico 
     have dropped since 1992.

  So while we say that arrests and seizures are down, we are going to 
say that we are going to certify them as making progress and being 
fully cooperative.
  Then on page 6 of the resolution, the sense-of-Congress portion of 
the resolution, we say:

       It is the sense of Congress that there has been ineffective 
     and insufficient progress in halting the production in and 
     transit through Mexico of illegal drugs.

  While we say that, we stand aside and allow certification to take 
  I ask Mr. Coverdell, who controls this time, for 5 additional 
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I yield 5 additional minutes to the 
Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. I thank the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. So while we say in the resolution it is our sense 
they have been ineffective and there has been insufficient progress, we 
allow certification to go forward, which says in fact they have been 
making progress and that they have been fully cooperative.
  To my colleagues I simply say, I think that is inconsistent, I think 
that is intellectually dishonest, and it is unfortunate, and it does a 
disservice to the citizens and our constituents whom we serve.
  We pass a resolution asserting that they have failed, that they have 
not made progress, and then we allow certification to go forward.
  How can we reconcile our treatment of the nation of Colombia a year 
ago and decertify and with a straight face now certify Mexico through 
which 70 percent of the illegal drugs flow into this country? You do 
it. I cannot.
  I believe that this certification process has become a sham. It is 
intellectually dishonest to move forward with that. The entire 
resolution upon which we will be voting contradicts that 
certification--two standards--that they have been fully cooperative and 
they have been making progress. We pass a resolution that says they 
have not been fully cooperative and they have not been making adequate 
progress. You reconcile that. I cannot. I yield the floor.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. COVERDELL addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia is recognized.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I yield up to 10 minutes of my time to the 
distinguished Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico is recognized.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I ask the Senator, how much time do you have?
  Mr. COVERDELL. Let me ask the Chair. I assume about 20 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia has 29 minutes 
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, under those conditions, I ask that you 
notify me when I have used 7 minutes. I do not think I should use 10.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico is recognized for 
7 minutes.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, about 4 years ago I came to the floor of 
the U.S. Senate--I did not check for the exact date, but I came to the 
floor to congratulate and praise Mexico. In particular, I was 
praiseworthy of their then-President Carlos Salinas.
  I even said on the floor of this Senate that, man for man, I thought 
he had the best Cabinet in the free world. In fact, I chose some of his 
Cabinet members because of their tremendous intellectual capacity and 
great training and compared them with our then-Cabinet members and 
said, I am pleased to tell the Senate that for the first time in 
history they probably have a better Cabinet than the United States of 
  For those people in Mexico who wonder how Senators like Senator 
Domenici have become more and more concerned about what is going on in 
Mexico, let me suggest that it was a very serious letdown to this 
Senator. It was a serious letdown having made statements like that, to 
find out what they were doing and what that pinnacle of free enterprise 
and privatization, a graduate of our best schools of economics, Carlos 
Salinas, was all about.
  So it was that just a few weeks ago, as one Senator, I joined in 
saying to the President that he should not certify Mexico as being in 
compliance and cooperating fully.
  But I would remind my good friend, the new Senator from Arkansas, 
that we in the Congress do not certify. The President certifies. What 
happened, even with many of us saying he should not, the President 
certified that Mexico was in cooperation and compliance.
  So now we are confronted with the situation where our own President 
and all of those who work for him, including a very able drug czar, 
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, have told us that the best thing we can do is 
keep the pressure on Mexico, but not to proceed with decertification 
from our end on the legislative side because in their opinion, instead 
of making matters better, it will make matters worse. Instead of 
causing more cooperation, it will cause less. Instead of causing Mexico 
to work with us in many areas that they are working in that we are now 
all becoming familiar with, it will force them politically to sever 
those kinds of relationships and to go their own way.
  Might I remind fellow Senators, all of this is happening in the 
context of an election in Mexico which is going to take place in the 
not-too-distant future.
  Fellow Senators, I understand Mexico. My State borders Mexico. For 
those who wonder whether I know about their culture, I would remind you 
that 38 to 40 percent of the residents of my State speak the Spanish 
language. While many of them are truly Hispanics from Spain, there are 
many who are Mexicans. But in all respects, I understand the 
relationship of Mexico and its populace, to the United States. I 
understand how they feel about us in terms of whether we really are 
their friends or are we the big giant to the north who is always trying 
to tell them what to do?
  So I have come to the conclusion, absolutely and unqualifiedly, that 
it is

[[Page S2590]]

better for us not to override the President but to go ahead and state 
our case, state our case in a resolution and then say godspeed to the 
President and General McCaffrey and all the others. Let us see if we 
can get better cooperation between these two great neighbors in the 
next few years.
  I remind everyone the best experts now say we are not going to fix 
this drug problem with Mexico where all of these drugs come flowing 
into our States.
  I might say to my friend, Senator Coverdell, they are pouring into my 
State, you can be assured, and into the principal city, although it is 
a couple hundred miles from the border, Albuquerque. We have never had 
so many murders and gang slayings and drug addictions as we have now 
because we are at the crossroads of the two interstate highways, both 
of them leading in some way to the south toward Mexico.
  So I am aware of that. But I came to the floor to make sure that 
Mexico understands that we have once again--and I hope it will be 
rather unanimous in the Senate--that we have come to the conclusion 
that we want to urge our nations to cooperate and we are urging, if not 
begging, Mexico to do what it can to be more cooperative and do more to 
alleviate this scourge on our people.
  I want to also say that the current President of Mexico, Ernesto 
Zedillo is a very competent man. Some say he is not a good enough 
politician. But indeed he has a good enough brain and a good enough 
commitment to that country. I believe--and here again I hope I am 
right--that he is absolutely honest, that he is truly dedicated to 
clean up what he can clean up in Mexico.
  President Zedillo I hope you will do that. And I hope America is 
there helping you rather than hindering you as you attempt to do that.
  This resolution is a good resolution because it requires that 
sometime in September a full report will be sent to the Congress of the 
United States by our President, indicating whether there has been 
progress made in the many areas cited in this resolution. We are 
clearly laying before the Mexican leaders what we hope is a 
constructive resolution, by saying these are the kinds of things where 
we must see some progress.
  We will be around for another day. The Mexican Government knows that. 
The President will be around next year and have to decide on 
certification again. I think the President understands that we are not 
expecting certification to come easy and to be a matter of course or 
ever just be a matter of whatever the State Department recommends. We 
are moving in the direction of saying we should be honest about it.
  For now, most of us who urged that the President not certify, we have 
all come to the same conclusion. We want to lay before the American 
people and the Mexican people and their government what we think is 
going wrong in Mexico and say we want to help with it. We want to say 
that we are willing to stand back and do what we can in our 
appropriation process with the things we must do on the border for law 
enforcement, but we are also saying to Mexico, you can count on it. We 
are doing this because our President urges us to. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, 
the drug czar, urges us to. The State Department urges us to. But we 
are going to hold all of them accountable, not just Mexico.
  We are expecting our Government to say the Senate really is serious 
and we should do something about these areas. I must say to our 
Government, we really risk future action by the U.S. Senate--I do not 
speak for the House--if we do not get some real performance and some 
honest evaluation in this report that we are requesting here.
  That is why I am here. I feel this will do more good in our efforts 
to work binationally with Mexico. We need to work with Mexico on myriad 
fronts--those affecting this drug scourge that is flowing into American 
cities and thus into our young people and Americans across the board.
  I thank Senator Coverdell for his leadership, and the distinguished 
Senator from California.
  It was a pleasure to help you get the letter signed. I think I got a 
few Senators, and I am pleased to have been on that. I believe our 
collective work will bring forth positive fruit both for us and for 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Enzi). The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I thank the Senator from Mexico for his generous 
remarks and his long work on this subject.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at the hour of 4:45 p.m., 
the Senate proceed to a vote on amendment No. 25, and immediately 
following that vote, the joint resolution be read for a third time and 
passed to and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, all 
without intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, rule XII is waived and the 
agreement is entered.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum, and 
I ask unanimous consent that the quorum time be applied proportionately 
to all who have time reserved.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, I, too, would like to commend the 
distinguished Senator from the State of California, Dianne Feinstein, 
as well as the Senator from Georgia, Mr. Coverdell, and those who I 
believe in good faith have come together with this agreement. I respect 
their work. I know their purpose and their intent.
  I do not know whether other Senators will vote in opposition to this 
agreement on this day. I do not know if there are any, but I will not 
vote for it. I want, Mr. President, to make clear my reasons, because I 
look at the same facts and I simply come to a different conclusion.
  I remember, Mr. President, being told at the end of the cold war we 
were going to be free of some of the compromises of our own interests 
which were necessary when we were defending ourselves in that great 
international struggle. We would be able to speak the truth again and 
to put our own interests of our own people first.
  This is a test of that principle. It is argued that to tell the truth 
about Mexico and to decertify Mexico as an ally in the war against 
narcotics would involve offending Mexican sensibilities. Given the 
realities of Mexican history or the Mexican political situation, it 
would cause political complications.
  Mr. President, the question is not whether or not Mexico would be 
offended by a truthful analysis. The issue raised is whether or not 
Mexico is an ally in the war against narcotics. That is the only 
question that was asked. It is the only question that is relevant.
  The truth is unmistakable. Mexico is not assisting, is not an ally in 
the war against narcotics, and saying that it is or postponing the 
judgment, as would be done by this resolution, does not escape that 
  The truth, Mr. President, is that 14,000 Americans die every year 
from illegal narcotics. If this judgment is to be postponed until 
September 1, and March, April, May, June, July, and August are to pass, 
then another 7,000 Americans will be consumed in the spiral of death by 
illegal narcotics, and they will have died while we maintain a false 
  What is it, Mr. President, we would say to the law enforcement 
officers from New York to Los Angeles to Chicago, to small towns all 
across America, to DEA agents around the world, who risk their lives 
every day facing the truth, if we will not face the truth?
  Mexico has had an opportunity in the last year to choose sides in the 
war against narcotraffickers. They had a choice when the United States 
filed 52 extradition requests with the Mexican Government and no one 
was extradited. They had a choice when is 250 Mexican law endorsement 
officers were dismissed from their positions because of corruption, and 
none were prosecuted. They had a choice when the Mexican Congress 
passed money laundering statutes which were not enforced. Mr. 
President, Mexico has had a choice every day for the last year.
  Now, it may be the will of this institution to give them another 6 

[[Page S2591]]

to make that choice again. I believe, Mr. President, that given the 
extensive corruption in the Mexican Government, the compromising of 
Mexican law enforcement officials, and their pervasive operation of 
narcotrafficking criminal organizations in Mexico, Mexico may now not 
only lack the will, but may no longer possess the ability to control 
the flow of narcotics to the United States. We cannot construct a 
policy of interdicting narcotics in Mexico by becoming part of a silent 
conspiracy, where Mexico pretends to be helping interdict narcotics and 
we pretend to believe them.
  This judgment gets no less painful after 6 more months pass than it 
will be today. It was said, Mr. President, during the cold war that the 
United States and the Soviet Union went eye to eye and America never 
blinked. The United States and Mexico are now facing a war against 
narcotics, and we have made an unfortunate decision to turn our face 
away from the truth. The proper action of this Senate, in my judgment, 
would be to vote to decertify Mexico and place both Mexico and those 
who influence her on notice that a price will be extracted for the 
deaths of 14,000 Americans every year by illegal narcotics, a price 
will be extracted for failing to choose sides in the war against 
  Mr. President, I know this is a difficult decision for every Member 
of the Senate. But we do not face the hardest choices. The real choices 
are made by our agents in the Drug Enforcement Administration, by those 
on border control, by the families who wait up every night to see 
whether their fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters in law 
enforcement in our cities and on our borders will come home alive. Our 
choice is easy. Look at the facts, review the evidence, and tell the 
truth. There is an open season on the American border for narcotics. 
Calling Mexico an ally in the war against drugs will not make them a 
friend and not force them to choose sides. This is a painful choice 
that must be made by the citizens of Mexico and her business and 
political leaders. If some are voting for this postponement of judgment 
until September 1 because they believe it would cause political 
problems for the PRI, the current political leadership of Mexico, then 
let it be so.
  We serve no American or Mexican purpose by hiding from judgment the 
current political leadership of Mexico. It is a moment of truth by our 
own people. If elements of the leadership are corrupted or compromised 
against the interests of not only other nations against fighting 
narcotics, but against defending Mexico in the interests of our own 
people, then let the Mexican people understand that truth and vote 
accordingly. That is the decision, Mr. President. I believe that we 
postpone not only recognizing the truth about Mexico's participation in 
the war against drugs, but we postpone, by our silence, the Mexican 
people realizing the truth about their own government, at a time of 
political judgment in the Mexican electoral system.
  For Mexican interests and for American interests, I will vote against 
this resolution.
  A long time ago, we came to the decision that there would be a war 
against drugs. In wars, there are casualties. At the moment, the 
principal casualties are our own children and the police officers of 
our own country. It would be unfortunate if some in the Mexican 
political establishment have to face the wrath of their own people, or 
if the good name of Mexico is compromised. Perhaps, Mr. President, they 
will be added to the list of victims in the war against drugs. No war 
is ever won without casualties. It's time to get serious in the war 
against drugs. I believe decertifying Mexico is an important step.
  Mr. President, I will vote accordingly.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the quorum 
call time be equally divided on both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I yield myself such time as I might 
  In the last few weeks, the Congress has spent considerable time 
considering Mexico. A great deal has been said and a number of 
proposals are on the table about how to respond to the President's 
decision to certify Mexico as fully cooperating.
  These proposals include a resolution to simply decertify Mexico. And 
a resolution that would put on record the Congress' concern about the 
lack of visible progress on drugs. We also have a House proposal that 
is critical of the administration. This proposal would create another 
minicertification process. That means we get to have this discussion on 
Mexico all over again in September based on a report to follow the 
President's summit in Mexico next month.
  In my view, these various proposals reflect a generalized concern 
about Mexican cooperation and a lack of consensus on how best to 
  We need to ask ourselves where we began on this issue. The whole 
reason for this debate grows out of a simple fact. Congress did not 
accept the President's decision on Mexico. Many in Congress doubt the 
willingness or ability of Mexico to fight drugs. In response, Congress 
sought to exercise its legal obligations under the Foreign Assistance 
Act to find a means to overturn his decision. The means available were 
not satisfactory. Thinking in the Senate does not seem to favor a 
straight up-or-down decertification of Mexico. In addition, any such 
effort, even if it should pass both Houses, will face a veto. Congress 
does not have the votes to override. Thus, our options on how to 
proceed have narrowed.
  Many people have compared the decision to decertify Colombia with the 
decision to certify Mexico. They have pronounced the process unfair 
since both countries have corruption problems but they were judged 
differently. While that is true, the basic reason is that the 
situations are not the same. The reason for decertifying Colombia was 
based on reasonably convincing evidence of corruption at the highest 
levels of Government. We do not have parallel information on Mexico. On 
the other hand, when you look at the same categories of achievement or 
cooperation, Mexico scores at least as well as Colombia on most of 
them. This is not to say that we should be content with what Mexico has 
done. I do not believe that Mexican officials are content. Nor do I 
think they take any pride in recent revelations about high-level 
corruption. My point is that we should not be hasty in making decisions 
about a country with whom we are so closely linked. We should not rush 
to decisions involving our third largest trading partner.
  Instead, I offered an approach that I believe was both reasonable and 
responsible. It would have maintained our concern for accountability 
but it did not create yet more certification procedures for us to have 
to get through. And I doubt that circumstances will be any less 
ambiguous 90 or 120 days from now. My proposal did establish clear 
guidelines whereby we all--Mexico, Congress, and the public--could 
judge the state of cooperation using the same terms of reference. This 
proposal would have kept the process that Congress created. We created 
that process with clear intent and deliberation. I do not think it is 
time to change that. It is not time for the proposed experiment in 
Government currently on the table. Given where we started, it does not 
achieve what we said we expected at the outset. Nevertheless, it is the 
only proposal on the table. Thus we come to this vote.
  I will vote for this joint resolution with reservations. I will look 
forward, however, to working with my collegaues in the future for a 
formula that ensures accountability within a

[[Page S2592]]

framework that permits informed decisionmaking.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I will support the bi-partisan 
compromise crafted by Senators Feinstein, Coverdell and the 
administration because I believe the United States must signal the 
Mexican Government that the status quo is no longer acceptable in 
regard to anti-narcotics cooperation. The massive and growing influx of 
illegal drugs into this country from Mexico is a significant threat to 
both of our countries and it must be stopped.
  Prior to the President's decision to certify Mexico, I joined 40 of 
my Senate colleagues in writing to the President and urging him to 
decertify Mexico because of its abysmal record --a record which 
includes a complete failure to extradite nationals wanted for drug 
crimes in this country, as well as rampant corruption at all levels of 
the anti-drug effort. The arrest last month of Mexico's top anti-drug 
official on charges that he was on the payroll of one of Mexico's 
largest drug cartels illustrates the nature and extent of this problem. 
Further, I am deeply concerned about Mexico's decision to replace much 
of its national police force, which was removed due to widespread 
corruption, with the Mexican military, an organization with a very poor 
record in regard to human rights offenses.
  Mexico may well be a significant economic partner with the United 
States, but the current level of illegal drugs entering this Nation 
unabated from the south is simply unacceptable. Our economic 
partnership with Mexico should not include the flourishing drug trade 
which currently uses Mexico as a primary transit point. While I believe 
the President should not have certified Mexico, I support the Feinstein 
compromise because, in light of the Administration's decision, it 
represents the only legitimate opportunity to hold the Mexican 
Government accountable. I will watch the actions of our southern 
neighbor very closely over the coming months in the sincere hope that 
the Mexican Government will rededicate itself to join the United States 
in our effort to deal with illicit narcotics which infect both of our 
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I am pleased to join my colleagues on the 
Foreign Relations Committee in bringing forward this compromise 
resolution with regard to Mexico and the narcotics issue.
  At the outset, I want to compliment the Senators who have been deeply 
involved in the negotiations on this matter--the chairman of the 
committee, the Senator from Georgia, the Senator from California, and 
the Senator from Texas.
  They and many other Senators have a deep and abiding concern about 
the serious threat that drug trafficking in Mexico posts to both that 
country and the United States.
  Indeed, we all agree, I suspect, on several issues.
  First, it is clear that we cannot overstate the role of Mexico as a 
source for narcotics. Mexico is the primary transit route for cocaine 
entering the United States, a major source country for heroin, 
methamphetamines, and marijuana, and a major money laundering center 
for illicit profits from the narcotics trade.
  Second, I believe we agree that the United States bears a significant 
responsibility for combating the narcotics trade. Undeniably, the 
demand for narcotics in this country spurs the narcotics trade. But we 
are not solely to blame for Mexico's ills.
  As the Mexican Government continually reminds us, Mexico is a 
sovereign nations, and it has the responsibility to do all that it can 
to confront the threat of the powerful drug cartels--cartels which now 
have considerable influence in Mexican society.
  Third, we agree that corruption in Mexican law enforcement is 
endemic. That corruption is deeply rooted, as even Mexican President 
Zedillo acknowledged in his State-of-the-Nation address last fall.
  Fourth, we all agree that Mexico must do much, much more in the war 
on drugs--as the White House acknowledged last month when the President 
made his certification.
  All this leads to the fundamental question now facing us: What can 
Congress do to help us achieve our objective of reducing the flow of 
narcotics from Mexico to the United States?
  I was disappointed that the President certified that Mexico had met 
the standard of fully cooperating, or taking adequate steps on its own. 
The systemic corruption in Mexico, combined with several failures to 
follow through on commitments made, argued against granting Mexico a 
full stamp of approval. Instead, I urged the President to invoke the 
national waiver, because I believed that our interests would be better 
served by not isolating ourselves from Mexico--which would surely occur 
were we to fully decertify Mexico. For my part, I believe it could have 
long-lasting, damaging repercussions that we cannot now predict. At a 
minimum, it would inhibit the political space that President Zedillo 
has to press forward with his agenda of reform.
  And if we destroy President Zedillo's political resolve to combat the 
drug traffickers, we will have achieved nothing--and we may well lose 
the gains we have recently made. In other words, decertification and 
exercising the full penalties possible under decertification offers a 
cure that appears to be worse than the disease.
  I am pleased that we have come to a bipartisan agreement--reached 
last night in negotiations with the administration--on the best way 
forward. The resolution recognizes the aspects of the issue that I have 
stated--specifically that both countries must take strong action to 
combat the scourge of narcotics. In addition, the resolution lays out 
several benchmarks--a set of policies that we expect both the Mexican 
Government and the United States Government to undertake in the coming 
  For example, it makes clear that Mexico must implement its recently 
enacted anti-crime laws, including the new money laundering statute and 
the organized crime law. In addition, Mexico must investigate and 
prosecute official corruption at all levels of government--and we must 
do all we can to assist Mexico in that effort. And Mexico must deny 
safe haven to persons and organizations responsible for drug 
  These and many other measures--if vigorously implemented--will be 
critical to strengthening the effort against the drug trade.
  Mr. President, we have a major problem in Mexico. It is, in part, the 
result of our success in reducing the flow of narcotics through the 
Caribbean and Florida--and our success, in cooperation with the 
Government of Colombia, in dismantling the major cartels in that 
country. The emergence of powerful cartels in Mexico is a manifestation 
of the so-called balloon effect--if you pressure the drug traffickers 
in one area, they will move to another. Unfortunately, the traffickers 
are nothing if not resilient.
  The result, for both Mexico and the United States, is the expansion 
of organized crime syndicates that have considerable power and 
influence over not only the drug trade, but also Mexican society 
itself. Combating this development will require a major commitment--of 
resources and political will--by both our Government and the Mexican 
  The cooperation we have received from Mexico in the past year is far 
from perfect. We all acknowledge that. But we have made important 
progress in the past few years, and this measure will be an important 
contribution to spurring even greater cooperation between our two 
  Mr. CHAFEE. Mr. President, I am pleased that the Senators from 
Georgia, California, and Texas were able to reach agreement with the 
administration on a resolution addressing certification of Mexico's 
cooperation in fighting illegal drugs. I have been strongly opposed to 
a straight or even qualified decertification, which I believe would 
have undermined U.S. interests and been counterproductive in our 
efforts to address the scourge of illegal drug use in America.
  I am not here to argue that the situation in Mexico today, with 
respect to drug trafficking, is in any way acceptable or serves United 
States interests. The Senators from California, Georgia, and many 
others deserve commendation for speaking out strongly about the 
deteriorating condition surrounding anti-drug efforts in Mexico, and 
the critical imperative that Mexico take stronger action to stem the 
flow of illegal drugs across its border into the

[[Page S2593]]

United States. The statistics with which we have become familiar are 
alarming and worsening: 10.9 percent of children in the United States 
between 12 and 17 years of age use illegal drugs; Mexico is the source 
of 70 percent of the marijuana shipped into the United States, and is a 
transit point for between 50 percent and 70 percent of the cocaine 
shipped into our Nation; drug arrests and drug seizures in Mexico are 
only half of what they were just 4 to 5 years ago; there are 52 
outstanding United States extradition requests for drug dealers in 
Mexico, although few, if any, Mexican nationals have been extradited to 
the United States on drug charges; drug-related corruption has reached 
the highest levels of the Mexican Government, with the recent arrest of 
Mexico's highest ranking antidrug official.
  Mr. President, I could go on, but the fact is clear: the Mexican 
Government, in partnership with the United States, must do a better job 
of stopping illegal drug production and trafficking. The 10 billion 
dollars' worth of narcotics that is illegally smuggled from Mexico into 
the United States each year must be sharply reduced, or even better, 
  But let's be clear about one thing: Solely addressing the situation 
in Mexico--the ``supply side'' of the drug problem--is incomplete and 
insufficient. Precious little time in the debate on decertification has 
been devoted to addressing the demand side of this problem, that is, 
the tragic, insatiable appetite for illegal drugs in the United States. 
If there were no demand for illegal drugs here at home, the drug 
kingpins and cartel chiefs that have caused so much misery, would be 
unemployed. A Washington Post editorial earlier this month makes this 
point clear, stating ``the demand equation remains the true frontline 
of the war on drugs.'' I am pleased that the language agreed to in 
these negotiations at least in part addresses this critical aspect of 
our fight against drugs. We would be remiss in not putting today's 
debate in its proper perspective.

  Nevertheless, Congress is right to speak out in an appropriate manner 
on the deterioration of antidrug efforts in Mexico, and the need to 
take concrete measures to stem this tide. I would argue that much--not 
enough, but much--has already been done: the drug certification law 
passed in 1986, while imperfect, has produced a framework that can 
produce real results. Nations that receive United States and 
international assistance are each year held to a very large measure of 
accountability for their cooperation with the United States in 
combating drugs. The specter of losing most United States foreign aid 
and having IMF and World Bank loans vetoed is certainly a strong 
incentive for governments such as Mexico to cooperate with us and take 
needed action.
  Despite all of the problems in Mexico, there is evidence that the 
certification law has compelled Mexico to do more than it would have 
done were the law not in place. President Zedillo, in particular, has 
taken a number of steps, including the arrest and firing of thousands 
of corrupt and criminal individuals in Mexico. His Government has also 
eradicated an area the equivalent of 5\1/2\ times the island of 
Manhattan. Finally, President Zedillo has declared the drug cartels and 
the corruption associated with them to be Mexico's principal national 
security threat. But more needs to be done, and the Clinton 
administration has the appropriate tools available at its disposal to 
make further progress on achieving some very important goals. The 
amendment before us today not only maintains the administration's 
ability to enhance its cooperation with Mexico, but provides for needed 
accountability to Congress and the American people.
  On February 28, President Clinton certified to Congress that the 
Government of Mexico was fully cooperating with the United States in 
antidrug efforts. The question before the Senate during the past 
several weeks is should we overrule the President's decision and 
decertify Mexico? I have argued that, despite the deteriorating 
situation in Mexico, congressional decertification is the wrong 
approach, and would actually be counterproductive in solving these 
problems. I am gratified that the authors of the original 
decertification resolution have made significant compromises with the 
administration so that such a vote has been avoided.
  Decertification would have been a slap in the face to our diplomats, 
who have labored, often painstakingly, to prod the Mexicans to help us 
crack down on illicit drug trafficking. Not only would it upset these 
delicate diplomatic efforts, a straight decertification would incite 
the well-known nationalistic political forces in Mexico, making it even 
more difficult for President Zedillo to further cooperate with us in 
achieving the goals all of us share. If it's difficult to work with 
Mexico now, I shudder to think what would have happened if Congress had 
overruled the administration by passing a straight or even qualified 
  I prefer instead to entrust our diplomats with the task of 
negotiating expanded antidrug efforts with the Mexicans, rather than 
hoping that decertification, even if sanctions were waived, would 
compel action on their part. As the March 3 Washington Post editorial 
states, decertification is ``a blunt instrument poorly designed for the 
delicate political work of drug enforcement. . . . A nationalistic 
reaction is the inevitable result.'' I ask unanimous consent that this 
editorial be printed in the Record at this time.
  There being no objection, the editorial was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, March 3, 1997]

                         A Fine Line for Mexico

       President Clinton drew a fine line, but a sensible one, 
     between certifying Mexico and decertifying Columbia as a 
     reliable partner of the United States in fighting drug 
     trafficking. The record of both Latin countries in stemming 
     the dread trade is sad. But at least the Mexican government 
     is demonstrably trying--it had the political courage to 
     arrest its corrupted drug policy chief on the eve of the 
     certification proceedings--while the president of Colombia is 
     established as the creature of a drug cartel. Mr. Clinton 
     decided that President Ernesto Zedillo's capacity to do 
     better would be strengthened by certification and that 
     President Ernesto Samper was beyond redemption. It is an 
     arguable decision, but it fits the exigencies of the American 
     certification law, and it also fits the facts.
       By now it is accepted in the White House and elsewhere in 
     the administration that the American certification law is a 
     blunt instrument poorly designed for the delicate political 
     work of drug enforcement. In a hemisphere where the premise 
     of effective diplomacy is to respect the sovereign equality 
     of member states, this law brings American power to bear on 
     supply and transit states without either consulting them or 
     providing them a reciprocal opportunity to pass judgment on 
     American policy. A nationalistic reaction is the inevitable 
     result. Still it is the law, and the president is bound to 
     enforce it. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, in 
     announcing the administration's decision on Friday, 
     acknowledge the obligation of the United States to press 
     ahead with its own strategy to reduce demand--a strategy it 
     had introduced, to something less than full public attention, 
     earlier in the week. The demand equation remains the true 
     front line of the war on drugs.
       Mexico was unconditionally certified as an American drug-
     fighting partner. So it is not exposed either to the 
     political rebuke or to the economic penalties that follow 
     from being de-certified. But Mexico is far from being in the 
     clear. Mrs. Albright publicly listed the particular policy 
     areas (capture and extradition of kingpins, money laundering 
     and so on) in which the United States expects to see Mexican 
     progress, and which she, the attorney general and the anti-
     drug chief will monitor.
       A considerable number of legislators have indicated that 
     they will attempt to reverse the administration's 
     certification of Mexico. They should ask themselves how such 
     a gesture, satisfying as it might be for the moment, actually 
     would serve their cause, and what effect it might have in 
     other areas of policy--trade, immigration, environment--where 
     good relations with Mexico are vital to American interests.

  Mr. CHAFEE. Mr. President, the amendment before us today represents a 
far more prudent approach to this sensitive issue. It outlines in 
detail the serious problems involved in Mexico today, and makes it 
clear that further progress is needed. However, instead of simply 
clubbing Mexico and walking away, this amendment sets very specific 
benchmarks for improved antidrug efforts by Mexico, and requires a 
progress report from the administration by September 1. Among other 
things, this report must describe the extent to which our two nations 
have made significant and demonstrable progress on dismantling drug 
cartels, improving law enforcement relationships, and increasing 
cooperation on

[[Page S2594]]

extradition of Mexican drug dealers wanted in the United States. The 
amendment makes it entirely clear both to this administration and to 
Mexico where the failings have been and what our priorities are. 
However, under this compromise, nationalist forces will not be incited 
in Mexico, and our diplomatic efforts can continue smoothly.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment. Thank you.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I think the process that has culminated in 
this amendment has shown that however well-intentioned, the drug 
certification process is poorly conceived. Mexico is clearly not 
cooperating in the counternarcotics effort as it should. How can it, 
when practically the highest ranking Mexican officials responsible for 
dealing with the problem are profiting from the drug trade themselves?
  But decertifying Mexico would cause more problems than it would 
solve, by creating resentment with the very people with whom we are 
seeking to build stronger relations.
  I will vote for the amendment, but I want to stress that I am very 
disappointed that the administration has not acted more forcefully and 
visibly to encourage the Mexican Government to deal effectively with 
the corruption and human rights abuses committed by Mexico's police and 
armed forces. We should send a strong signal to Mexico that this will 
no longer be ignored. I would have favored a stronger resolution than 
this, as I know many others would have, including the resolution's 
sponsor, but I hope the Mexican Government appreciates the seriousness 
with which we regard these concerns.
  The reports of rampant corruption among Mexican military and law 
enforcement officials, and the human rights abuses they have been 
involved in, are alarming, as are reports of growing paramilitary 
activity in Mexico. I am concerned that, with United States support, 
Mexico is blurring the line between its police and armed forces. I am 
also concerned that our ability to monitor the equipment we provide to 
Mexico is inadequate. I have urged the administration to be very 
specific in its agreements for the transfer of equipment to the Mexican 
police or armed forces, so there is no ambiguity that it is to be used 
for counternarcotics activities and not counterinsurgency activities. 
Those agreements should also specify that if members of police or 
military units that receive our assistance are implicated in abuses, 
they will be immediately removed and steps taken to bring them to 
justice. We have done this recently in agreements with Colombian 
officials, and there is no reason why it could not be done in Mexico.
  The United States and Mexico must work together to combat this 
problem. But while I and others expect far more from the Mexican 
Government to deal with corruption and the violence perpetrated by 
their own agents, unless we curb the demand in our own country, drug 
abuse will remain a national crisis.
  In the last 10 years, the United States has spent $103 billion on 
programs here and abroad against drugs. Yet the DEA reports that the 
amount of cocaine entering the country, as well as the rates of heroin 
and cocaine abuse among Americans, have remained steady. Again, the 
evidence is clear. We will not solve this problem until we aggressively 
deal with the causes of drug use and addiction in our own country.
  Mr. President, I want to thank Senators Dodd, Feinstein, Coverdell, 
Kerry, McCain, and Hutchison who have worked very hard to reach a 
compromise on this difficult issue.
  Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the Mexico 
  I think it offers a constructive solution to the bilateral problem we 
are facing. It gives the President of the United States an opportunity 
to discuss with President Zedillo of Mexico the various concerns many 
of us have about the progress our two countries are making in the drug 
war. And it does so without provoking unnecessary and counterproductive 
tensions between our countries.
  The problems in Mexico's drug enforcement are well known. You can 
hardly open a newspaper without learning about even more instances of 
corruption and incompetence at all levels of government and law 
  It's a sad chronicle that makes for truly depressing reading. It's 
understandable why so many concerned Members of Congress are raising 
serious questions about the effectiveness of Mexico's antidrug effort.
  But it's important that we in Congress stay focused on doing what's 
in our own national interest--not on symbolic gestures that fail to 
accomplish that interest.
  The problems we face are real.
  There are 12.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, including 1.5 
million cocaine users and 600,000 heroin addicts.
  More than 1 out of every 10 children between 12 and 17 years of age 
use illegal drugs. One out of every four claims to have been offered 
illegal drugs in the past year.
  The American people recognize that these are important problems--and 
that we have to take serious action. But let me point out, Mr. 
President, that there are many, many people in Mexico who support our 
goals. To succeed, we need that support.
  Without their support, it would not have been possible for Mexico to 
make even today's limited progress against the drug traffickers.
  That progress is limited, but it is nonetheless real.
  Over the last year, in spite of the well-known cases of corruption, 
the Mexican Government has posted increases in drug seizures and crop 
eradications. That includes a 15-percent increase in marijuana 
seizures, a 6.3-percent increase in cocaine seizures, and an almost 80-
percent increase in heroin seizures.
  In 1996, Mexican authorities reported an increase of nearly 14 
percent in the number of people arrested on drug trafficking and 
related offenses, including 28 high-level members of drug trafficking 
organizations. This year, as has been widely reported, Mexican 
authorities arrested General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo--who had been in 
charge of the National Institute to Combat Drugs--for supporting the 
activities of the Juarez cartel.
  We didn't catch him, Mr. President. The Mexicans themselves did.
  Should we expect further improvements in law enforcement operations? 
Absolutely. We need to monitor the full enforcement of the law--in 
other words, keep close watch on how many of these arrests lead to 
prosecution and jail time.
  In 1996, the Mexican Congress passed tough laws to address the 
problems of money laundering, chemical diversion, and organized crime. 
Now we should insist on full enforcement of those new laws.
  This year, we have seen improved cooperation in the areas of money 
laundering and extradition. Mexico and the United States established a 
high level contact group on narcotics control to explore joint 
solutions to the shared drug threat and to coordinate bilateral 
efforts. We should now expect this increased cooperation to yield 
clear, positive results.
  But one thing is clear: Both Governments need to dedicate greater 
resources to stop trafficking along our border. Senator Hutchison 
informed the Foreign Relations Committee last week of the enormous 
difficulties faced by her fellow Texans along the border. Specifically, 
ranchers with property along the border are being bribed, coerced, or 
having their lives threatened by traffickers seeking to use private 
property as a back door into our Nation. These ranchers have been told 
by Federal officials that it would be years before enough new border 
agents could be assigned to better secure their property.
  Listen to some of the stories these ranchers tell--stories about the 
gunfights they have fought with drug gangs, and having to carry guns 
whenever they leave the house. It sounds like a John Ford movie about 
the Old West.
  That has got to change.
  Mr. President, let me conclude by making a broader point about 
Mexico's future. In my view, with this resolution, we create the 
opportunity for a new round of cooperation between the United States 
and Mexico. Mexico is not only a neighbor with whom we share a 2,000-
mile border, it is also this country's third largest trading partner. 
If we are to be successful in our anti-drug efforts, Mexico must be our 

[[Page S2595]]

  Yes, the Government of Mexico needs to do more within its borders, 
and with us, to combat drug trafficking. The real question before us is 
how can we improve on that partnership.
  We all know what the problems are. We all agree that they are very, 
very serious. But we should also recognize that this is a crucial 
moment in Mexico's history--and they need our support if they are going 
to continue in the right direction.
  What the Mexican people are trying to do is make the transition from 
a one-party state, in which corruption and excessive government 
mandates stifle the hope for widespread prosperity, to a multiparty 
state that creates jobs and rewards job creators.
  President Zedillo appears to be trying to free up Mexican society and 
reform the political process--changes that will make Mexico a more 
stable neighbor for the United States. He is opposed by powerful 
elements in his ruling party, and make no mistake, the outcome is still 
in doubt.
  Now more than ever, the people of Mexico need to know that we want 
them to be our partners. Our national interest is served by a 
prosperous and democratic Mexico--a Mexico that offers hope and 
opportunity for its citizens.
  The drug war is one area where we must continue to work together. We 
should redouble our efforts to look for constructive solutions--to 
reduce trafficking, to crack down on money laundering, and most 
important of all, to reduce the demand for drugs.
  Our countries must be united in a very important partnership. In the 
anti-drug effort, as in so many other areas, we have a major common 
challenge, and we can only prevail if we face it together.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. President, this month both Houses of Congress have 
been engaged in a difficult debate over whether to uphold or overturn 
the President's certification of Mexico as fully cooperating with the 
United States to fight drug trafficking.
  This debate has had a growing negative impact on U.S. relations with 
an important country and trading partner along our southern border. The 
debate also has shown how the certification process under the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961 is not as effective as Congress originally 
intended it to be.
  Under current law, notice provided to the target country is often too 
late and not specific enough to fix the problems. Moreover, access to 
more timely and specific information would assist Congress in 
exercising its legislative and oversight responsibilities.
  Therefore, on Tuesday of this week, I introduced S. 457, a bill to 
provide a new option to the President to place countries such as Mexico 
on a probationary status of 7 months, during the period of March 1 
through September 30. If by the end of this probationary period, the 
target country complies with the specific conditions stipulated by the 
President, full certification would be granted. However, if these 
conditions are not met, the United States would act firmly by cutting 
off aid beginning on October 1 of this year.
  I am pleased that the compromise the Senate is considering today 
reflects to some extent the main components of my bill. The pending 
resolution recognizes that Mexico has taken insufficient steps to stop 
drug trafficking and it stipulates a 6-month period of time in which 
the President will review Mexico's progress in this area. The 
resolution also requires the President to submit a report to Congress 
by September 1 on Mexico's progress.
  However, the resolution we consider today does not nearly go far 
enough. Its findings regarding Mexico are not specific; it does not 
provide specific steps Mexico must take to continue receiving aid; and 
it does not amend the existing law to improve the certification process 
in the future, as my bill does.
  I am voting in favor of the pending resolution today because it is 
the only legislation the Senate will consider this week to address the 
certification of Mexico. Nevertheless, I urge my colleagues to support 
S. 457 to improve the certification process for the future.
  I thank the Chair and I yield the floor.
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I rise today to express my support for the 
joint resolution that the majority leaders, my fellow Republican and 
Democratic colleagues, and the administration has concluded with 
relation to certification of Mexico. Even though I do not think that 
this resolution goes far enough, I realize that this agreement is a 
bipartisan effort that should be enacted for the good of the Nation.
  Frankly, I am disappointed that we consider a nation that supports 
drug cartels and warlords worthy of programs funded by the hard earned 
dollars of American tapayers. However, this resolution will make 
certain demands of Mexico and the administration to ensure that 
progress is made in Mexico. This resolution does not entirely burden 
Mexico with this responsibility; it will also create a partnership. 
This partnership will try to strengthen bilateral border enforcement, 
create a permanent working relationship between law enforcement 
agencies of both nations and actually assist Mexico to identify, remove 
and prosecute corrupt officials at all levels of Government. By 
creating this partnership, Mexico and the United States will closely 
study this situation and actually try to ensure that both of our 
efforts are being met. With such limited resources, our assistance to 
Mexico should make a difference.
  Mr. President, we must work toward ensuring that Mexico halts these 
destructive practices for our most precious national asset, our 
children. Over the past few years, there has been a marked increase in 
the levels of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and marijuana flowing 
into the United States through Mexico. This is hitting every urban and 
rural community in the United States. The protection of our most 
vulnerable possession, our children is the strongest argument for the 
passage of this legislation.
  Finally, we should not be saying to the American people that this law 
is only good if we can also pass the chemical weapons convention 
treaty. This is not to suggest my opposition or support for the treaty, 
but I believe that each issue should be kept separate so as to ensure 
that both are considered on their own merits.
  Thus, the most important issue for this Congress today--the only 
issue for Congress today--is to move forward on this resolution.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, today we will vote on one of the most 
difficult issues facing our Nation: the illegal drug trade in Mexico 
and the United States. The resolution we will vote on requires the 
President to report by September 1, 1997, on the efforts of Mexico and 
the United States to achieve results in combating the production of and 
trafficking in illicit drugs. I support the resolution, and am hopeful 
that the report will show significant progress by Mexico and the United 
States in fighting the war on illegal drugs.
  As my colleagues have discussed today, we cannot win the war on drugs 
unless Mexico achieves significant progress in the areas of drug 
trafficking, extradition, corruption among Mexican law enforcement and 
other officials, interdiction networks, implementation of laws and 
regulations to combat money laundering, eradication of crops destined 
for illegal drug use in the United States, and the strengthening of 
bilateral border control.
  Border control must also be a top priority of the United States; and 
while my colleagues, including Senators Coverdell, Feinstein, and 
Hutchison, have done an excellent job detailing what must be done to 
further our and Mexico's efforts to fight illegal drugs, I want to 
concentrate for a moment on the need for additional United States 
Border Patrol agents.
  First, I am pleased that one of three things we are asking the 
President to do by September 1 is detail the progress made in the 
deployment of 1,000 additional U.S. Border Patrol agents in 1997 as 
required by my amendment to the Immigration Act of 1996.
  Without an effectively controlled border, the United States cannot 
even begin to win the war on drugs. I was disturbed that the 
President's fiscal year 1997 budget to Congress requested the addition 
of only 500 Border Patrol agents, instead of the 1,000 required in the 
1986 Act. Senators McCain, Gramm, Hutchison, and Domenici recently 
joined me in sending a letter to the President, urging him to comply 
with the law, revise his budget request, and

[[Page S2596]]

deploy 1,000 additional agents in 1997. Without an adequate contingent 
of customs and border agents, the problem of individuals smuggling 
drugs and illegal immigrants across our border will only worsen.
  Border Patrol agents are on the front lines every day, working hard 
to seal off our borders from increasing levels of illegal immigration 
and the drug trade. The agents that Congress has added over the past 
few years have made a difference, but the need for additional agents 
keeps growing. Drug and illegal alien smuggling continues to grow--
illegal immigrants are expected to increase by 275,000 per year over 
the next several years--and the effects of illegal drugs, particularly 
methamphetamine, have been devastating for the citizens of Arizona and 
the rest of the Nation.
  Just a few weeks ago, a study on drug use in America showed a large 
increase in youth drug use over the last 5 years. Arizona fared poorly, 
with much higher drug use than the national average, including a 
startling statistic that our sixth graders are twice as likely to have 
tried methamphetamine than high school seniors nationwide. While we 
continue to talk about the need to fight illegal drugs, the precursor 
chemicals that make methamphetamine are being smuggled into Arizona in 
increasing volume. It must stop.
  As the resolution we are voting on today says, the abuse of illicit 
drugs results in at least 14,000 deaths per year in the United States, 
and ``exacts economic costs in excess of $67 billion per year to the 
American people.''
  Although many of us would like to see more specific actions that the 
Mexican government should take to show serious improvement in the war 
against illicit drugs, it is my hope that Mexico will be able to show 
significant accomplishments in the areas outlined in the resolution. 
Likewise, the administration must be able to show specific, detailed 
action in the war against drugs by, among other things, deploying 1,000 
additional agents in 1997.
  Mr. President, not rhetoric, but actions. That is what we must demand 
of Mexico and that is what we must demand of ourselves. We must work 
diligently to eradicate the scourge of illegal drugs that has taken so 
many of our citizens, young and old alike, hostage. This compromise 
resolution should be passed by the U.S. Senate.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I join with my colleagues today in 
strongly endorsing this bipartisan resolution, which represents an 
important step in the fight to curb the flow of drugs from Mexico.
  This resolution strongly registers Congress' unhappiness with the 
current situation in Mexico. It includes a clause stating that it is 
the sense of Congress that ``there has been ineffective and 
insufficient progress in halting the production in and transit through 
Mexico of illegal drugs.''
  There is ample evidence that Mexico is not doing enough to combat 
this problem. Let me cite a few examples.
  More than half the cocaine coming into the United States is smuggled 
across the United States-Mexican border.
  Major quantities of heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines used in 
the United States are produced in Mexico.
  Drugs are being moved illegally across the United States-Mexico 
border by major criminal organizations operating on both sides of the 
  And, of great concern to the United States, there is evidence of 
significant corruption affecting the Mexican Government and undermining 
its anti-drug commitments. The most dramatic recent evidence of this 
fact was Mexico's February 1997 arrest of its drug czar, General 
  This resolution helps us move beyond the annual certification debate 
in achieving concrete action in a constructive way. Passage of this 
resolution will strengthen the President's hand in his upcoming April 
trip to Mexico. It puts the United States in a position to get the 
greatest possible cooperation from the Mexicans in fighting the war on 
drugs. And, most importantly, it puts the Mexicans on notice that we 
will expect such cooperation.
  This resolution clearly expresses Congress' view that the Mexican 
Government must do more and that the United States needs a plan to push 
that effort. The resolution lays out the positive steps they must take 
by requiring the President to submit a report to Congress by September 
1 of this year laying out progress with Mexico in the following 
important areas: Investigation and dismantling of drug cartels, 
development and strengthening of the working relationship between the 
United States and Mexican law enforcement officials; strengthening of 
bilateral border enforcement; denial of safe havens for those 
responsible for drug trafficking, including improvement of cooperation 
on extradition matters between the United States and Mexico; 
simplification of evidentiary requirements for narcotics and other 
related crimes; full implementation of effective laws and regulations 
to combat money laundering; eradication of crops intended for illicit 
drug use; establishment of screening process to assess the suitability 
of all law enforcement personnel involved in the fight against 
organized crime; and the support given to Mexico in its efforts to 
identify and remove corrupt officials throughout the government, 
including law enforcement and military officials.
  The resolution also directs that the report include progress on 
important domestic goals, including the implementation of antidrug 
education efforts in the United States focusing on reducing drug use 
among young people; the implementation of a comprehensive international 
drug interdiction and enforcement strategy; and providing the 
additional personnel needed to get the job done.
  This resolution is not, and must not be, the end of this process. The 
1998 drug certification process will give Congress another chance to 
express its support or disapproval of the progress we have made with 
  The resolution is not perfect, but it takes us in the right 
  Let there be no mistake: the United States cannot tolerate anything 
less than an all-out effort to control illegal drugs. Mexico must 
demonstrate a dramatic increase in its cooperation in the effort to 
stop the flow of drugs across the United States-Mexico border. The 
United States obligation is to insist on Mexico's cooperation and to 
make it clear that we will do everything we can to support their 
effort. We will be closely monitoring progress in this area. Without 
it, we will face an intolerable threat to our children and a severe 
degradation of our relationship with Mexico.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. How much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The leader has 50 minutes.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I yield myself 15 minutes of leader's time, 
and I will try to use less than that time.
  Let me begin these remarks by thanking the sponsors of this 
resolution that is pending before the Senate. I want to especially 
thank our colleague from Georgia, Senator Coverdell, with whom I have 
the pleasure of serving with as ranking member of the Subcommittee on 
Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, Narcotics and Terrorism of the 
Committee on Foreign Relations. He played a very major role in shaping 
the compromise that is now before us. I would mention as well our 
colleagues, Dianne Feinstein from California, Kay Bailey Hutchison from 
Texas, John McCain of Arizona, and others who worked tirelessly in 
helping put this resolution together.
  I commend them for their work in putting this resolution together. I 
am happy to have been a part of it. Even though I do not agree with 
every word in it, on balance I believe it is a very constructive 
approach to a very difficult problem. I am sure that all of us who 
worked to forge this compromise would have liked to see things added or 
subtracted depending upon our points of view. But, that is the nature 
of how a resolution like this is assembled.
  I think the pending amendment captures the views of this body fairly 
accurately, and I suspect, the views of the American people whom we 
represent. Yes, there is a sense of outrage,

[[Page S2597]]

fear, worry, and frustration over the ongoing threat posed by the 
Mexican drug cartels. We have paid a very heavy price for their 
relentless efforts to ply their trade whereever they can get away with 
it. The human costs of drug use are real and mounting. This scourge 
that still ravages this country called drugs has caused great damage to 
millions of people in this country and elsewhere.
  The pending amendment is an attempt to express to our neighbor and 
ally to the south of us, Mexico, where more than 50 percent of all the 
drugs that come to this country are produced or transit through, that 
we would like to see more cooperation in our efforts to eliminate drugs 
from both our countries.
  Mr. President, the economic costs to the American people from the 
illegal use of narcotics is in excess $67 billion annually. Estimates 
are that nearly 13 million Americans regularly use illegal substances. 
The revenues generated by the drug kingpins totals more than $49 
billion annually--a rather remarkable statistic.
  The Mexican drug cartels allocate more than $6 billion of ill gotten 
gains for the sale of drugs in order to bribe, or otherwise corrupt 
Mexican law enforcement and judicial authorities involved in 
counternarcotics programs.
  We consume 50 percent of all the illegal drugs produced in the world. 
We represent 5 percent of the world's population. So clearly the United 
States is at the heart of the international drug problem. More and 
more, this is not solely an American problem. Drug consumption is 
beginning to ravage countries which in the past never had a problem 
with illegal substances and drugs. But today that is changing, and even 
in producing countries--transit countries--nations where money 
laundering goes on, consumption and the ravages of consumption are 
beginning to wreak havoc in these nations as well.

  I cite just of few statistics. There are clearly many more. I know my 
colleague from California provided some other statistics in the course 
of her remarks concerning, for example, the amount of product coming 
into this country.
  Let me say that I think it is perfectly appropriate and proper that 
we raise the issue of the effectiveness of our allies and neighbors' 
counter-narcotics efforts. But we should admit as well that we could do 
a better job here at home in helping to wage an all out effort against 
illegal drug use. We need to take a good hard look in the mirror as 
  I would argue very strenuously that were it not for the consumption 
in this country, were it not for our consumption problems, that we 
would have far less of a problem with nations like Mexico and others. I 
don't say that is an excuse to let those nations off the hook who 
produce, process, and tranship these illegal drugs that wind up on our 
streets. But if we are going to have an intelligent and thoughtful 
discussion about drug abuse and illegal drug production, and the 
problems these create, then we need to spend at least as much time in 
analyzing what we in the United States are doing or are not doing in 
our own country that creates the market for these products as we do 
pointing the accusing finger at those who are involved on the supply 
  Simply put, if we did not have a domestic consumption problem we 
would not have the magnitude of the problem of the supply side that 
exists in Mexico today. With enough resources we can probably deal with 
Mexico. Or we can deal with Peru, and Colombia. But what we have 
learned historically is that as we begin to put pressure on 
narcotraffickers in one country, they simply relocate to another. This 
will continue to be the case so long as our domestic consumption rates 
continue to go up. The producing countries, the transit countries, the 
money laundering countries, are only temporary locations in the 
transnational international drug trafficking business.
  So the first line of defense has to be a far more aggressive effort 
here at home to try to educate young people against the dangers and the 
problems associated with illegal drug use. We also need better 
treatment programs so that those who are hooked on drugs who want to 
change will have someplace to go to for help in breaking these 
incredibly debilitating habits. Yet today, there is a long waiting list 
at our drug treatment centers--a list of addicts wanting treatment that 
is currently unavailable to many of them. The waiting period to get 
into treatment can be as long as 4 years in some instances. Having to 
wait months and months for treatment certainly doesn't contribute to 
our efforts to reduce the problem of consumption.
  I hope as we attempt to seriously come to grips with the 
international drug threat to the United States --and it is not going to 
disappear overnight--that we focus a lot of our attention on reducing 
domestic drug abuse.
  Just as I believe we need to place more emphasis on the demand side, 
I think we need a serious rethinking of how we approach the supply side 
of the equation. The current approach as embodied in the annual 
certification process is not working. In 1986 when Congress enacted the 
drug certification law there was a great deal of frustration that 
neither the United States nor other countries were doing enough to 
fight the drug war. So Congress, on a bipartisan basis, set up a 
certification process in order to bring attention to the issue and try 
to do something about it. I strongly suggest to my colleagues--and I 
realize that I may be in the minority on this issue--that we ought to 
scrap this certification process and try to come up with some 
alternative idea that would allow us to develop a working partnership 
with other governments, particularly those in our own hemisphere.
  There are good people in Mexico who want to see this problem stopped 
as well.

  In fact, I made note the other day--it is worth repeating here 
today--that when President Zedillo of Mexico came forward and took some 
significant steps in dealing with the people in his own country who had 
been corrupted by this process, his favorability rating rose more than 
10 percent in Mexican public opinion polls. It isn't just American 
citizens who are deeply troubled by the rising cost of illegal 
substances and drugs. The people of Mexico, the average citizen in the 
street, is worried about this. The mother in Mexico City is just as 
worried about her child becoming hooked on these substances as a mother 
in Hartford, or a mother in Atlanta, or a mother in Los Angeles. We 
need to be sensitive to that because they have to help us as well in 
trying to build a base of public support in Mexico that will encourage 
Mexican authorities to get tough on narcotraffickers and corrupt 
government officials.
  My colleague from Georgia may have addressed this already. I will 
just state it briefly. I think our colleague from Georgia has a very 
sound idea in terms of how we might look at this problem a bit 
differently. He has proposed that all countries that are involved in 
the various aspects of the drug trade, whatever their level of 
involvement, sit down and start figuring out how we can work together 
to solve this problem. It isn't going to be solved in one year or two. 
It isn't going to be solved at all unless we come up with a common 
plan--a plan developed by coequals trying to deal with this issue. That 
is the only way to get the kind of cooperation that is absolutely 
critical if we are going to be successful in dealing with our allies 
and others who are producing these products.
  I see my colleague. I will be glad to yield to him because I raised 
his name and mentioned his program.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, first, I want to acknowledge the almost 
tireless support of the Senator from Connecticut in behalf of the 
  Just to take a second, the resolution before this body does for the 
first time enumerate the concept and calls on the administration to air 
it during the upcoming meetings in Mexico. I just wanted to mention 
  Mr. DODD. I thank my colleague for mentioning that.
  I strongly urge the administration and others to take a strong, hard 
look at this and come forward with ideas so we can get off the 
certification track that brings us back here year in and year out 
picking winners and losers and deciding whether or not they are going 
to be on the good list, or the bad list, or the marginally good list. 
Whether they are going to be certified, decertified, or granted a 
national interest waiver. Debating that kind of question and getting 
votes of 55 to 45 or 65

[[Page S2598]]

to 30 for the various legislative initiatives surrounding certification 
doesn't get us anywhere.
  We have significant evidence that decertification has not fostered 
better cooperation from other countries. For the last 11 years we have 
decertified a handful of countries year in and year out. None of these 
countries counter narcotics efforts have improved as a result of that 
  The simple question that must be asked about the current procedure is 
if it is not working should it continue? Shouldn't we consider an 
alternative that might really be effective in achieving the cooperation 
that is necessary to reduce the ravages of this problem?
  If we don't try something new, we will be sitting here, I promise 
you, with more charts next year and more charts the year after that, 
and more charts the year after that, and we can beat our chests, pound 
the table, and scream at neighbors and allies. But my fear is that it 
doesn't get any better.
  So, when your idea is not working very well, you ought to think anew. 
What the Senator from Georgia has done in my view is think anew on 
this. I commend him for it. I don't think he thinks nor do I think it 
is a perfect idea. But I think it has the seeds of success written into 
it. If we give it a chance and try to make it work, then I think it can 
produce the results that we all are looking for.
  Mr. President, again I commend the authors of this amendment. I think 
they have expressed the views of all of us more or less. We are all 
blessed to have General McCaffrey heading up narcotics efforts. He has 
done an excellent job and he enjoys universal support for his efforts.
  I urge the adoption of this amendment. But, more importantly, Mr. 
President, I urge that we find a different way in the coming weeks and 
months to address this issue before we find ourselves back again 
engaged in an exercise that isn't achieving the kind of results that 
many of us would like to see accomplished.
  With that, Mr. President, I urge adoption of the resolution and yield 
the floor.
  Mr. COVERDELL addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I thank my colleague from Connecticut for his remarks 
and again, as I have in the past, for his attention to this concept 
that we have been discussing for now 2 years, and hopefully this 
resolution will bring it to a new level of discussion. I apologize for 
interrupting, but I did want to note that we had embraced some of this 
concept in the resolution.
  Now, Mr. President, I yield up to 5 minutes of my time to the Senator 
from Kansas.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. I thank the Chair. I thank my good colleague from 
Georgia for yielding time to me. I would also like to thank and 
recognize and compliment Senator Coverdell, Senator Feinstein, and 
others who have worked tirelessly on this effort to try to get more 
help in stopping all the drug trafficking through Mexico. I know they 
have worked very hard to try to craft a vehicle and language to be able 
to get at this issue, which we all want to do, which is reduce the drug 
trafficking, reduce the amount of drug flow from and through Mexico to 
the United States. I applaud their efforts and their tireless work in 
getting this done.
  However, in looking at the language of this bill, I must rise in 
opposition to certifying Mexico as complying with our drug-trafficking 
efforts, and this is not, in my estimation, as I consider this vote and 
weigh it carefully, about bashing Mexico. This is not about bashing the 
administration. This is about complying with the law and interpretation 
of that law and a judgment that each of us must make. The fact is 
section 490 of the Foreign Assistance Act requires that the President 
certify that Mexico has cooperated fully with the United States or 
taken adequate steps on its own to fight drug trafficking.
  That is the law, and that is the interpretation and that is what each 
of us have to interpret, whether this is done: Has Mexico cooperated 
fully with the United States or taken adequate steps on its own? Sadly, 
I come to the conclusion the facts are that Mexico has not cooperated 
fully with the United States and the steps they have taken to combat 
the drug trade are far from adequate. I am sad in taking that position 
and in looking at it this way, but I can arrive at no other conclusion.
  There was a slight increase in 1996 in both drug seizures and arrests 
of drug traffickers. But sadly, again, this is because the numbers for 
1995 were so low. Their record over the 1992 to 1993 period shows that 
they can do much better; they were much, much higher. So the Mexican 
Government, working more in cooperation with us, can do much better. In 
fact, Mexico's current record clearly indicates that they should not be 
certified for antidrug cooperation. U.S. drug agents report that the 
situation on the border has never been worse.
  I applaud Senator Coverdell and Senator Feinstein for laying out in 
detail the facts that are before us. I would like to reiterate some of 
them again if I could.
  Mexico continues to be a major transit point for cocaine entering the 
United States from South America. Fifty to 70 percent of the cocaine 
entering the United States transits Mexico, and Mexico is a supplier of 
20 to 30 percent of the heroin to the United States market and up to 80 
percent of the foreign-grown marijuana. Seizures of cocaine were about 
the same as the last 2 years but about half the level of seizures in 
1991 to 1993. Drug arrests were up for 1995. However, they were 
considerably less than arrests in 1992 to 1993. Mexico refuses to allow 
the United States Navy ships patrolling for drug smugglers to put into 
Mexican ports to refuel without 30 days' notice. Mexico has enacted 
money laundering legislation, but so far the legislation has not been 
implemented, and Mexico is 12 months late in producing necessary 
banking regulations.
  The record on this issue is clear, and sadly so. It is not credible 
to claim that Mexico has fully cooperated with the United States in 
fighting drug trafficking. On the contrary, the major Mexico-based drug 
cartels have risen to being some of the most powerful trafficking 
groups in the world.
  I think we absolutely have to send a strong signal to the 
administration and to our neighbors to the south that the certification 
process is not just a rubberstamp exercise and that we require action 
on this issue. I say again that I arrive at this conclusion sadly 
because I think everybody in this body would much rather be able to 
easily certify, and I do applaud the efforts of Senator Coverdell, 
Senator Feinstein, Senator Hutchison, and many others in working on 
this. But we are just not there and I cannot support the certification.
  I thank the Chair. I thank the Senator for yielding.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, the junior Senator from Massachusetts 
has requested time. I will yield 7\1/2\ minutes of my time to him, and 
I believe the Senator from Georgia will yield time.

  Mr. COVERDELL. If the Senator from California will withhold this 
allotment of time for one moment while I deal with a unanimous consent 
that both sides agreed to in trying to facilitate a number of our 
Members who are trying to visit the White House and some others who are 
trying to catch aircraft. I will do this and then we move to Senator 
Kerry from Massachusetts under the circumstances the Senator has just 
  I ask unanimous consent, Mr. President, that the vote scheduled to 
occur at 4:45 today now occur at 3 p.m., and further, the following 
Senators to speak for up to the designated time: Senator Kerry for 15 
minutes, Senator Hutchison for 10, Senator Feinstein for 5, Senator 
Boxer for 5 minutes, Senator Coverdell for 5 minutes, and any 
statements relating to the issue provided for in the consent remain in 
order prior to the close of business today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Chair recognizes the Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I thank the Chair and I thank the Senator 
from Georgia for his intercession and his

[[Page S2599]]

help, and I particularly want to pay tribute to the Senator from 
California, [Mrs. Feinstein], who has been pressing so hard on this 
absolutely vital issue of concern to every single American.
  I listened carefully to the comments in the Chamber, particularly 
those of the Senator from Connecticut a moment ago. We differ on the 
question of whether certification is effective or not. The fact is, 
were it not for certification, we would not be here today fighting 
about what the appropriate action is with respect to Mexico and there 
would not be such sensitivities by Mexico or us to the consequences of 
our actions. Were it not for the certification process, there are whole 
countries that would continue to disregard, as they did prior to the 
certification process, any notions of cooperation. It is, frankly, only 
by virtue of the certification process that we have made the extra 
judgments with respect to Mexico that lead us to understand the dire 
circumstances that we find ourselves in today.
  Having said that, I want to comment on one other aspect of this, 
because I agree with the Senator from Connecticut. I have been, I 
think, forceful in speaking out on this over the last years. Any 
efforts to make any judgment about any other country must be 
accompanied by efforts to make judgments about ourselves. In fact, 
efforts to judge ourselves ought to come first, and we ought to be much 
tougher on ourselves than we are on the others.
  The fact is that after all these years of so-called declarations of 
war on drugs and all of the talk about its importance and all of the 
hype, we really do not have a legitimate war on drugs in our own 
country. I hear some people sometimes say, well, the reason we are 
losing the war on drugs is x, y or z. We are not losing the war on 
drugs, Mr. President. We are not fighting the war on drugs. Ask a lot 
of prosecutors around the country whether they have sufficient 
resources. Ask judges whether they can move people through the courts 
fast enough. What happened to the initiative to have drug courts? Ask 
drug addicts, who are the first people we ought to discuss this with, 
what they say about the system and if it is serious, because we treat 
less than 50 percent of the drug addicts in this country. If you want 
to take the pushers' clients away, we ought to have treatment on demand 
in America, clean the streets up of the addicts, have an outreach 
effort that identifies them in community after community and show some 
tough love in the United States and provide the treatment. You cannot 
have pushers come along fast enough to make up for that loss of 
business. Do you want to deal with the people who are hitting people 
over the heads and robbing cars and stealing radios and entering houses 
at night? Then that is the way to do it. But we do not. We do not even 
educate all our kids in America about the danger of drugs. Only 55 
percent of our children get education about drugs. The fact is that 
from 1956 until 1994, we enacted 43 so-called comprehensive laws to 
deal with international narcotics control. From 1961 to 1991 we passed 
over 100 bills to combat drugs. There have been 10 major multilateral 
declarations and agreements signed between 1970 and 1992. Between 1966 
and 1991 we created roughly 18 new agencies, councils, offices, and 
institutes to pretend to deal with drugs. Since President Bush 
established the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, we 
have had four drug czars.

  I think these efforts tell the story. Drug use by adults may be down 
a little bit, but the fact is that drug use by kids is on the rise. In 
1992, the number of 12th graders using illegal drugs was 27 percent; in 
1996 it was 40 percent. And our efforts to educate kids about the 
dangers of drugs are just plain inadequate. In 1996, only 36 percent of 
8th graders thought that if they took LSD once or twice they could risk 
harming themselves. Similarly, only 51 percent believe that crack can 
harm them; and only 45 percent think that cocaine could hurt them. All 
of these numbers are down from 1991.
  So, as we talk about Mexico, let us not forget the failure of our own 
efforts. I intend to bring us back to this issue again and again, in 
the next months. It is time for us to do the job here. Every day there 
are 20 million 10-15 year old kids out there who need something to do 
after school. We cannot shut schools in the afternoon, we cannot be 
devoid of after-school programs, we cannot cut sports, music, arts, all 
of the options for our children, and suggest that they go home to 
houses where there is no parent, and not expect to reap the harvest of 
that kind of abandonment. Mr. President, that is our responsibility.
  Now, what about Mexico? They also have a responsibility. We are 
honest, at least, about judging our court system. We are honest about 
putting our cops in the street, 100,000 more of them, to try to deal 
with this. We are honest about trying to prosecute people, police 
officers and others in various departments across the country, who have 
shown a proclivity to break the law. That does not really happen in 
Mexico--not really. There is a fake process that goes on there. In 
fact, what really happens in Mexico is that one cartel buys out the 
police and the judges and the prosecutors in order to bring pressure on 
its rival cartels. For example, the attorney general and 90 percent of 
police, prosecutors and judges in Tijuana and the state of Baja 
California are judged to be on the payroll of the Arellano-Felix 
  Do you want to sit around and expect them to do something? They will 
not because drug corruption is endemic throughout the system. Let me 
turn to some other examples. During his 2 years in office, former 
Attorney General Lozano fired some 1,250 Federal police officers and 
technical personnel for corruption. Yet not one of these has been 
successfully prosecuted. When Mexican army officers raided the wedding 
party of Amado Carillo Fuentes sister, they found members of the 
Mexican Federal Judicial Police guarding the party. Carillo Fuentes 
escaped thanks to a tip from the police about the raid. And on the very 
day that certification for Mexico was announced, Humberto Garcia 
Abrego, brother of Juan Garcia Abrego, and chief money launderer of the 
Gulf cartel was allowed to go free by Mexican officials, even though he 
was still under investigation for drug related crimes.
  Until the Mexican Government recognizes this reality and throws out 
all the policemen, prosecutors, judges, and military officials on the 
payrolls of the traffickers, and basically says, ``We are going to 
start again, and we are committed to this,'' it is impossible to have 
the kind of cooperation that is necessary in this effort. Our own DEA 
Administrator, Thomas Constantine, has told us that ``There is not one 
single law enforcement institution in Mexico with whom DEA has an 
entirely trusting relationship.''

  When we went down to meet with the President of the United States and 
various Cabinet people on this subject, President Clinton properly put 
the issue to us. He made a judgment, for reasons that I can 
understand--I do not agree with, but I understand--he made a judgment 
that the best way to get Mexico to try to engage in this effort was to 
certify them. I disagree. In my judgment, to certify them, or anything 
less than what we are doing here now, is to ratify the status quo. And 
it is to say that the same patterns of behavior that have sufficiently 
gotten you by any critical judgments over the span of the last 10 years 
will be able to continue into next year and the next year until 
whenever it is that the United States decides they are going to start 
to judge things the way they really are.
  The way they really are is known by everybody. Let me quote from our 
own State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 
for this year:

       Taking advantage of the 2,000 mile border between Mexico 
     and the United States and the massive flow of legitimate 
     trade and traffic, well entrenched polydrug trafficking 
     organizations based in Mexico have built vast criminal 
     empires that produce illicit drugs, smuggle hundreds of tons 
     of South American cocaine, and operate drug distribution 
     networks reaching well into the continental United States. 
     Mexico is the principal transit route for South American 
     cocaine, a major source of marijuana, and heroin, as well as 
     a major supplier of methamphetamines to the illicit drug 
     market in the United States.

  And nowhere but California do they understand the methamphetamine 
aspects of this better.

       Mexico is the transshipment point for at least 50 to 60 
     percent of the United States-bound cocaine shipments and up 
     to 80 percent of the methamphetamine precursors.

[[Page S2600]]

  According to our U.S. health experts the consumption of 
methamphetamines is on the rise and may soon outdistance the use of 
cocaine as the drug of choice in the United States. Mexican-based drug 
trafficking organizations are the heart of this trade. The DEA reported 
in 1996 that:

        . . . criminal organizations from Mexico, deepening their 
     involvement in methamphetamine production and distribution in 
     the United States, have radically reshaped the trade. With 
     access to wholesale suppliers of precursor chemicals on 
     international markets . . . these groups can manufacture 
     unprecedented quantities of high purity methamphetamine in 
     large labs, both in Mexico and across the border in 

  Mr. President, the problem is these very cartels have reached their 
tentacles so far into the Mexican structure that you really have to 
engage in the most extraordinary kind of effort in order to change what 
is happening. I recognize that there have been some positive steps here 
and there, but the fact is, they are truly small developments measured 
against what we know Mexico has to do and what we have asked Mexico to 
do. That is the true measure of cooperation.
  The fundamental problem in Mexico is the corruption that exists at 
any and all levels, even among those charged with fighting the drug 
effort. You see an occasional arrest, yes. But those arrests by Mexican 
authorities are not necessarily reflective of the commitment to root 
out drug traffickers, but rather of a well-coordinated plan by one 
cartel to eradicate the other by having law enforcement officials on 
their payroll. One of the reasons we did not immediately realize that 
Mexico's drug czar, Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was corrupt was because he 
arrested major drug traffickers but only those who worked for the 
rivals of the cartel that he worked for, that of Amado Carillo Fuentes. 
So, on February 18 the Mexican Defense Secretary, Enrique Cervantes 
announced that Gutierrez aided the Carillo cartel for 7 years by 
protecting cocaine shipments in exchange for vehicles, real estate and 
  It was his taste for the good life, not Mexican efforts to root out 
corruption, that caught him up. And you could read a number of 
journalistic accounts of what happened that show that it was actually 
accidental that Gutierrez finally got caught.
  Mexican authorities have also tried to tout the arrest and 
deportation of Juan Garcia Abrego, and there is no doubt that the Gulf 
cartel has been severely hurt by that. But what we are seeing, already, 
are indications that the only long term effect of those efforts is 
going to be to allow Carillo Fuentes to move in and takeover the Gulf 
cartel's operations. Likewise, efforts to target the Tijuana cartel, 
run by the Arellano-Felix brothers, are likely to wind up being 
orchestrated by Carillo Fuentes through his connections with corrupt 
law enforcement officials.
  Mr. President, what we are trying to do here today is be sensitive to 
the needs of a friend and of relationships. I hope, and I pray that 
President Zedillo will be able to move in the direction that he has 
indicated that he wants to move. Unlike Colombia where you have a top-
down kind of corruption, in Mexico you have a bottom-up kind of 
corruption. President Zedillo is going to need all the help he can get.
  In my judgment what the United States Senate is going to do today, by 
going on record as supporting this resolution, will, hopefully, send a 
signal that all of us need to do more, that all of us need to hold each 
other up to a tougher standard, and that we need to ask Mexico to do 
more to help us stem this flow of drugs.
  Is that the whole deal? No. As I have made clear, the bulk of the 
responsibility is ours.
  Until we face up more to the demand side of the equation, it may seem 
difficult to be as demanding internationally. But that does not mean we 
should not be, and it does not mean that we must not ask a country as 
deeply affected by this as Mexico has been to begin to join us to a 
greater degree in this battle. It is my hope and my belief that this 
effort today will enable us to continue to cooperate while 
simultaneously sending an important signal about the seriousness of our 
certification process.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senator from 
Texas is recognized for up to 10 minutes.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I thank Senators Coverdell and 
Feinstein. I think they have come a long way in this process, and I 
appreciate their willingness to stand with what I think will be the 
strongest vote in the Senate and do something that is constructive, 
rather than destructive.
  I thank Senator Dodd, Senator McCain, and Senator Domenici. I thank 
Senator Lugar for coming in and helping in this process. It took all of 
us together to come up with a solution that we thought would be 
something workable with our Senate colleagues, hopefully with our House 
colleagues, and something that would be a help to our relationship with 
  I think that was the key to this matter, because, in fact, Mr. 
President, we are losing the war on drugs. Mexico is losing the war on 
drugs. They are seeing their country rifled with corruption because of 
the billions of dollars that are coming in illegally, and America is 
losing the war on drugs because we see 1 in 4 of our children who say 
they have been offered illegal drugs, children as young as 8, 9, 10, 
11, 12 years old. Yes, Mr. President, what we are saying today is it is 
no longer business as usual in the drug war.
  Mexico is not a country that is thousands of miles from our border. 
This is our border. Mexico is our border. We are tied. We are tied 
economically; we are tied in security interests. We cannot walk away 
from this issue. It is our joint problem, and that is what we are 
saying today by passing this resolution.
  We had $8 billion of trade with Mexico in 1975. Today, it is over 
$100 billion. Mexico is the United States' third largest trading 
partner; it is Texas' largest trading partner, with $22 billion of 
trade between Texas and Mexico. But our relationship is deeper than 
that. It is not just dollars. Every one of the border States--
California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas--were once part of Mexico. So 
our cultures are ingrained. We together, in the past few years, have 
drifted into accepting unacceptable conditions in the arena of drug 
trafficking. I cannot imagine a worse situation.
  In my State, we have ranchers who will not go outside into their 
front yards without guns, because they may meet someone with an AK-47 
walking across their ranch with illegal drugs. There is a state of 
lawlessness in my State that we have not seen since the frontier days, 
and we cannot let this stand. In fact, a number of our ranchers are 
selling their land to the highest bidders because they feel 
defenseless. And guess who the highest bidders are? They are people 
fronting for those who are trafficking illegal drugs. They are paving 
their way through the United States through the remote areas of our 
border States. This is a frightening situation.
  In Eagle Pass, the intimidation began when ``coyotes'' were smuggling 
illegal aliens through this remote border area took to cutting fences 
and using cattle ranches as a back-door entrance to America. When local 
and State officials complained to the Federal Government, the response 
was that would be 2 years before we can get help to you. So my State 
sent Texas Rangers down to the border. But even that has not been 
enough to do the job. So we have a problem that we must solve together.
  Another new thing that seems to be happening is our customs agents on 
our side of the border, many of whom have relatives in Mexico, are now 
being threatened with harm to their relatives in Mexico if they do not 
cooperate with drug traffickers. So this corruption is on both sides of 
the border.

  The number of drug seizures in Mexico in 1996 was only half the 
number of seizures in 1993. The number of drug-related arrests in 
Mexico in 1996 was half the number in 1992. Mexico is the source of 20 
to 30 percent of the heroin coming into our country, 70 percent of the 
foreign-grown marijuana, and the transit point for 50 to 70 percent of 
the cocaine shipped into our country. This is a sieve, and we must plug 
the holes.
  I will say that having just described a horrendous situation in 
Mexico, let's look at America. In America, according to the Office of 
National Drug Control Policy, over 12 million people are drug addicts; 
10.9 percent of young Americans between the ages of 12 and

[[Page S2601]]

17 are using illegal drugs; drug-related illness, death and crime cost 
this country nearly $67 billion in 1996.
  So I have been troubled about what we are doing on our side, and yet, 
shortly after taking office, the Clinton administration cut the Office 
of National Drug Control Policy staff by more than 80 percent, hardly 
making it a priority. They also have made proposals to cut the DEA, the 
Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service and other Federal agencies, including, though Congress has 
authorized 1,000 Border Patrol agents, only coming forward with a 
budget for 500.
  I have spoken to the Attorney General, Janet Reno, I have spoken to 
the new drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, both of whom I respect very much, 
and I have said this is unacceptable. I cannot have my State being 
overrun and have only half the contingent of new Border Patrol agents 
that Congress has authorized. Congress has made this a priority, and we 
must have the same commitment from the administration.
  The ``Just Say No'' campaign that Nancy Reagan put forward was 
effective, and we must have an education effort much like that one that 
says to our young people, ``Drugs will hurt you, they will hurt you 
tomorrow, and they will hurt you 20 years from now when you have 
children.'' We must let them know that if we are going to win this war 
on drugs.
  So, Mr. President, we are asking for more. We are asking for more 
from our country and more from Mexico, because the fact of the matter 
is, we are in this together. Just like any good marriage, when there is 
a problem, you cannot solve it if only one party is willing to talk. We 
must have both parties willing to talk, both parties willing to give, 
both parties willing to say, yes, if we make a bigger effort together, 
we can lick this problem, just as we have licked the problems for over 
300 years between our two countries. We don't really have an 
alternative and our children's lives are in the balance.
  So the differences between Senator Feinstein and Senator Coverdell 
and myself and others about how we would solve this problem were all 
differences of what would be the most effective. There was never a 
difference among any of us about what the problem is. And that is, we 
are losing the war on drugs. We are losing a generation of our young 
people. And that is not good enough.
  We must do better. And we will do better with the resolution that is 
before us today that says the two countries will sit down together and 
we will address the concerns, we will address the concerns of money 
laundering, of corruption. We will address the concerns of demand on 
our side. And, Mr. President, we will do it together. And that is why I 
hope this vote of the Senate is a clear message to our friend and 
neighbor to the south that we want to work together and we want results 
for the sake of both of our future generations.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. COVERDELL addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I would like to yield 3 minutes of my 5 minutes to the 
Senator from California, Senator Boxer.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from 
  Mrs. BOXER. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
  I want to thank the Senator from Georgia, my colleague from 
California, Senator Feinstein. Both of them worked so hard on this.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, on February 28, the administration, 
pursuant to the requirement of the international narcotics trafficking 
statute, made a decision regarding our Nation's fight against illegal 
drug trafficking. The decision was made to certify that Mexico has, in 
the past year, taken all appropriate and necessary actions in the fight 
against international narcotics trafficking.
  I respectfully disagree with this decision, and I would like to 
explain why.
  Under our international narcotics trafficking statutes, in order for 
a country which is known to be either a major source of narcotics or a 
major drug transit country to continue to receive U.S. aid, the 
President must certify by March 1 that the country is either performing 
adequately in cooperating with the United States or is taking steps on 
its own in the fight against international narcotics trafficking.
  The law gives the administration three choices:
  First, certification that the country is either fully cooperating 
with the United States or has taken adequate steps on its own to combat 
the narcotics trade.
  Second, decertification of the country, concluding that the country 
has failed to meet the requirements of cooperation or action.
  Third, no certification, but a vital national interest waiver--
essentially a finding that the country has not met the standards of the 
law, but that our own national interests are best protected by 
continuing to provide assistance to the country.
  The question of Mexico is complicated. Mexico is the leading transit 
country for cocaine coming into the United States: 50 to 70 percent of 
all cocaine shipped into the United States comes through Mexico. It is 
also a significant source of heroin, methamphetamines, and marijuana.
  President Zedillo seems to be strongly committed to rid the Mexican 
law enforcement system of corruption and to fight the Mexican drug 
cartels. However, the reports and events of the past few weeks have 
made it clear that corruption in police ranks--even up to the very top 
ranks--is still rampant in Mexico.
  Just a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the man hired to be 
Mexico's drug czar--the head of their anti-narcotics agency--was fired 
abruptly after being accused of taking bribes from one of Mexico's most 
powerful drug lords.
  It would be as if our own drug czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, were found 
to be in league with drug gangs in our country. Why didn't the Mexican 
Government tell us they were investigating their drug czar? Why did 
they let our own drug agency brief him and give him important 
intelligence about our antidrug efforts? I do not call that 
  Mexico has also failed to take its own steps to meet the standards of 
the certification law. It has not acted boldly to root out corruption 
in its law enforcement establishment; it has extradited to the United 
States only a few Mexican nationals suspected of involvement in United 
States drug activities; it has failed to implement new anticrime laws 
enacted last year.
  Given these facts, I do not believe Mexico qualifies to be certified 
in full compliance with the drug law. I do believe that the President 
would have been justified in granting a vital national interest waiver 
for Mexico so that sanctions would not have to be applied, and I wish 
that he had followed that course.
  Granting a waiver would send a message to Mexico that its actions in 
the past year were inadequate, but it would also allow the United 
States to continue its efforts to work with President Zedillo and 
others in his administration who are committed to the drug fight. 
Unfortunately, our parliamentary procedures do not permit a vote on 
such a measure, because that is not what the President supported.

  The resolution before the Senate today makes some good points. It 
finds that, in several areas, Mexico's actions against narcotics 
trafficking have been inadequate:
  First, evidence of significant corruption among Mexican officials, 
especially law enforcement;
  Second, Mexico's failure to fully implement new anti-money laundering 
  Third, drug cartels operating with impunity in Mexico;
  Fourth, Mexico's failure to grant our extradition requests concerning 
Mexican nationals who have been indicted in United States courts; and
  Fifth, decline in the number of cocaine seizures and arrests of drug 
traffickers in Mexico in the past few years.
  These findings put Congress on record stating that Mexico is not 
doing enough to fight narcotics trafficking or to cooperate with the 
United States in doing so.
  In addition to the findings, there is a sense of the Congress section 
stating that there has not been enough progress in halting the 
production in

[[Page S2602]]

and transit through Mexico of illegal drugs.
  The meat of the resolution is contained in subsection (d), which 
requires the President, by September 1, to submit a report to Congress 
on the extent of progress made by the United States and Mexico in ten 
  First, bringing down the drug cartels;
  Second, strengthening United States/Mexico law enforcement 
cooperative efforts;
  Third, strengthening bilateral border enforcement;
  Fourth, improvement of extradition matters between the United States 
and Mexico;
  Fifth, simplifying evidentiary requirements for narcotics and related 
  Sixth, full implementation of money laundering laws;
  Seventh, Crop eradication;
  Eighth, screening backgrounds of law enforcement officials;
  Ninth, increasing support for Mexico's efforts to prosecute corrupt 
public officials; and
  Tenth, strengthening overall bilateral cooperation.
  The resolution does not specify a process for congressional review of 
the President's report. However, as Senator Feinstein said earlier, 
many of us will be keenly interested in the details of the report, and 
of course, Congress may respond in any way it deems appropriate.
  So I conclude that while this resolution is not what I had hoped to 
vote for, I must support it, as it is the only vehicle we will have on 
which to make a statement concerning the Mexico drug certification 
  Finally, Mr. President, I would like to speak briefly on another 
subject concerning our relationship with Mexico. That is the United 
States embargo against Mexican tuna and the efforts by some, including 
the Mexican Government, to lift this embargo.
  The current embargo--which was imposed in 1990 against all countries 
that do not have environmental policies that protect dolphins from 
unsafe tuna fishing practices--prohibits Mexican tuna vessels from 
selling their products in the United States market.
  Lifting the embargo would undoubtedly lead to an increase in the 
number of Mexican vessels operating in the eastern tropical Pacific. I 
believe that, given the current power and reach of the drug cartels in 
Latin America--particularly Colombia and Mexico--and their frequent 
reliance on maritime vessels to make drug shipments, now is not the 
time to open up a whole new avenue of maritime trade from Mexico.
  Cartels are using fishing boats and cargo ships more and more often 
to smuggle cocaine from Colombia to Mexico where it is then shifted to 
trucks and other vehicles for transport across the border into the 
United States.
  The risk of capture for these vessels is low in an ocean so large. 
And even when the ships are stopped, it is hard for law enforcement to 
find the drugs, which are hidden in secret compartments. Many fishing 
vessels have sophisticated radar equipment that allows them to keep 
ahead of law enforcement.
  According to an article in the January 30 Washington Post, our own 
Coast Guard admits that the eastern Pacific is ``one of the most 
difficult places for us to interdict drug shipments. It's a vast ocean. 
There are no choke points, no places to hide and lots of places to 
search--including 2,000 miles of coast.''
  So why, at this time when narcotics trafficking in and through Mexico 
into the United States is threatening to undermine our two countries' 
relationship, would we deliberately make it harder to bring these 
cartels under control?
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
two documents relating to this question--one, the Post article to which 
I just referred, and two, a recent report by the Humane Society of the 
United States on the predicted impact on narcotics trafficking of 
lifting the tuna embargo at this time.
  And I trust that we will not act in any way to increase opportunities 
for drug smuggling.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, Jan. 30, 1997]

    Latin Drugs Flow North Via Pacific--Traffickers' Ships Hard to 

                            (By Molly Moore)

       Mexico City.--The crew of the Ecuadoran ship Don Celso 
     claimed to be fishermen, but, hundreds of miles off Ecuador, 
     the 150-foot vessel's fishing gear looked as if it had not 
     been used in months. And when a U.S. Coast Guard law 
     enforcement team yanked open the fish hatches, it found 
     50,000 gallons of diesel fuel instead of tuna on ice.
       If there was fuel where there should have been fish, Coast 
     Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Keith Thompson wondered what he 
     would find in the fuel tanks. It took his team six days of 
     hard searching to find out--nearly seven tons of cocaine 
     crammed into secret containers inside the fuel tanks, the 
     second largest maritime cocaine bust in history.
       The massive cocaine discovery last October, along with 
     three other record-breaking seizures in just the last 18 
     months, illustrate how quickly sophisticated Colombian and 
     Mexican drug cartels are adjusting to law enforcement efforts 
     and finding new trafficking routes to the United States 
     despite the billions of dollars the U.S. government is 
     spending on its war against drugs.
       Even as the United States has increased interdiction 
     efforts in the Caribbean and Mexico has forced curtailment of 
     incoming flights of huge cargo planes stuffed with cocaine, 
     traffickers have made the vast open waters and virtually 
     unpatrolled shipping lanes and coasts of the eastern Pacific 
     Ocean the primary trafficking route for cocaine entering the 
     United States, Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials 
       ``When you press the balloon in one area, it pops up in 
     another,'' said Vice Adm. Roger T. Rufe Jr., U.S. Coast Guard 
     commander for the Pacific area. ``We've been putting a lot of 
     stumbling blocks in their way in the Caribbean. It's a market 
     economy; with demand as it is in the U.S., they have plenty 
     of incentive to try other routes.''
       Most of the cocaine travels by ship from South America to 
     Mexico's Pacific Coast, where it is unloaded onto trucks and 
     vans and transported across Mexican land borders into the 
     Southwest United States.
       Officials estimate that as much as two-thirds of all the 
     cocaine destined for the United States, or at least 275 tons 
     a year, now travels by ship via the eastern Pacific in what 
     law enforcement authorities describe as the most formidable 
     interdiction battle they have faced in recent years.
       Only 23 tons of cocaine was intercepted by U.S. maritime 
     operations in the region in the past 2\1/2\ years--most of it 
     in just three seizures, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
       ``The eastern Pacific has been one of the most difficult 
     places for us to interdict drug shipments,'' said Adm. Robert 
     E. Kramek, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and 
     interdiction coordinator for President Clinton's anti-drug 
     efforts. ``It's a vast ocean. There are no choke points, no 
     places to hide and lots of places to search--including 2,000 
     miles of coast.''
       The cocaine traffickers of Colombia and Mexico are not the 
     only drug organizations that have discovered the eastern 
     Pacific trafficking lanes. Illicit drug shipments are pouring 
     into Mexico's Pacific ports by the ton, hidden in secret 
     compartments of commercial vessels or mixed with legitimate 
     cargo in huge metal containers--hashish from Pakistan; 
     precursor chemicals for methamphetamines, or speed, from 
     Asia; and huge hauls of marijuana from South America.
       The drug cartels believe the risk of getting caught is so 
     small that they are loading shipments of up to 12 tons of 
     cocaine on fishing vessels and commercial container ships, 
     which can slip largely undetected from South America and up 
     the western coast of Mexico. Moreover, the cartels use 
     sophisticated radar equipment and surveillance techniques as 
     a means of countering search and seizure efforts of drug 
     enforcement agencies.
       Even the most primitive-looking fishing boat is often 
     equipped with radar and electronic equipment to help 
     smugglers determine if they are being followed, as well as 
     scanners that can eavesdrop on military frequencies, 
     according to U.S. law enforcement officers involved in 
     maritime interdiction. In addition, the cartels also 
     frequently send aircraft to fly over the trafficking routes 
     to be used by their ships in an effort to identify anti-drug 
       The discovery of 11 tons of cocaine on the Panamanian ship 
     Nataly I off the coast of Peru in July 1995--the largest 
     maritime cocaine haul ever--was the first tip-off that 
     traffickers were shifting operations to the eastern Pacific, 
     according to the Coast Guard's Kramek.
       Last August, a Honduran ship intercepted 50 miles off the 
     coast of Colombia was found to be carrying two tons of 
     cocaine, a seizure followed by confiscation of the Don 
     Celso's seven tons in October. And last Thursday, U.S. Coast 
     Guard and Mexican authorities detained a fishing vessel 250 
     miles off Mexico's Pacific coast whose fuel tanks were hiding 
     almost 3\1/2\ tons of cocaine.
       Late last year the U.S. Coast Guard, which works with the 
     U.S. Navy, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Customs 
     Service and other agencies, launched Operation Caper Focus 
     off northern South America and up the Pacific coastline 
     northward to Mexico in an effort to identify and intercept 
     drug trafficking shipments closer to their departure ports.
       ``Once they've loaded and are proceeding into the ocean, 
     it's very easy to hide,'' said Capt. Robert Wicklund, chief 
     of the Coast Guard's law enforcement section for the Pacific 
     area. ``There are no natural choke

[[Page S2603]]

     points that a vessel has to pass through where we can sit and 
     wait for them to come to us.''
       And often even large-scale deployments do not result in 
     seizures. In November 1995, after a two-year intelligence-
     gathering operation by anti-drug agents, a U.S. Coast Guard 
     cutter was dispatched to the eastern Pacific to monitor a 
     fishing vessel believed to be carrying--or preparing to 
     load--20 tons of cocaine.
       The ship left Panama and headed for fishing grounds west of 
     the Galapagos Islands. The Coast Guard cutter tailed the 
     vessel for 2\1/2\ months but was never able to determine if 
     it was carrying cocaine and did not stop it.
       ``We had the ability to know when he was fishing, when he 
     was doing his laundry, but we didn't know whether he had 
     drugs on board,'' a Coast Guard official said.
       The most difficult drug shipments to detect are those 
     secreted in the cargo containers aboard commercial vessels. 
     Without informants at ports of departure or arrival, it is 
     virtually impossible to detect such drug shipments, according 
     to law enforcement officials.
       ``At our two main ports of Veracruz and Manzanillo, 200 
     containers arrive daily,'' said Francisco Molina Ruiz, until 
     recently the chief of Mexico's Institute to Combat Drugs, the 
     Mexican equivalent to the U.S. DEA. ``To check one container, 
     we need anywhere from 10 hours to three days. Some containers 
     are frozen; others contain toxic substances, and often the 
     dogs can't sniff for drugs.''
       Mexican law enforcement agencies recently have discovered 
     several large drug stashes in container shipments, usually 
     after receiving tips or noticing irregularities in shipping 
       Problems of drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific are 
     exacerbated because the United States has few bilateral 
     agreements with Pacific Coast nations on law enforcement 
     cooperation, such as those it has developed over the years 
     throughout the Caribbean.
       As a result, until a few recent diplomatic breakthroughs 
     with some nations, U.S. law enforcement officials frequently 
     spent days in bureaucratic tangles attempting to get 
     permission to stop or pursue suspicious vessels.
       And despite the large increase in the number of drug 
     shipments off the Mexican Pacific coast, the United States 
     and Mexico have not conducted joint operational exercises in 
     a year. Mexico declined to take part in the latest scheduled 
     exercises after former defense secretary William J. Perry 
     embarrassed Mexican officials by discussing the operations 
     before they had been announced to the Mexican public.

   Lifting the Tuna Embargo and Changing the Dolphin-Safe Label: The 
               Predicted Impact on Narcotics Trafficking

  (A Confidential Report of the Humane Society of the United States, 
                National Investigations, March 5, 1997)

       Three U.S. laws are under attack from several Latin 
     American nations who want to regain access to our lucrative 
     tuna market: 1) the embargo provisions contained in the 
     Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA; prohibiting the 
     importation of yellowfin tuna from countries whose tuna fleet 
     kills over 25% more dolphins than the U.S. fleet); 2) the 
     International Dolphins Conservation Act (IDCA; prohibiting 
     the sale of dolphin unsafe tuna in the U.S.); and 3) the 
     Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (DPCIA; 
     prohibiting the use of the ``dolphin safe'' label on any tuna 
     caught by chasing and setting nets on dolphins).
       Since the establishment of the ``dolphin safe'' label and 
     the embargo against purchasing tuna caught by setting nets on 
     dolphins, the number of vessels fishing for tuna in the 
     Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) has decreased 
     substantially. Lifting the embargo and changing the ``dolphin 
     safe'' label to allow its use on ``dolphin-unsafe'' tuna will 
     most likely result in a substantial increase in the number of 
     vessels fishing in the ETP. We are concerned that this will--
     in addition to causing increased injury and death to 
     dolphins--create conditions that may lead to increased and 
     easier narcotics smuggling into the United States.

              the flow of narcotics into the united states

       Most of the world's cocaine--an estimated 80%--originates 
     in Colombia. In recent years, Colombian traffickers began to 
     funnel their cocaine through Mexico. Mexican drug smugglers 
     became the key transporters of Colombian cocaine, a service 
     for which they were paid in cash. Through the development of 
     successful networks and trans-border relationships, and the 
     ability to easily bribe local police, they became more and 
     more powerful. Eventually, they started taking their pay--50% 
     of each load--in cocaine. This development, and the weakening 
     of the Colombian cartels through arrests and deaths, allowed 
     Mexican traffickers to gain greater control over narcotics 
     trafficking in the Americas.
       According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 
     (DEA), over 70% of all cocaine entering the U.S. comes 
     through Mexico. In 1994 and 1995, approximately 200 of the 
     300 metric tons of cocaine that entered the U.S. each year 
     transited Mexico. At least two-thirds of the cocaine that 
     enters Mexico is shipped in maritime vessels from other Latin 
     American countries. It is then smuggled into the U.S. over 
     various land routes into California, Arizona, and Texas.

                 government corruption eases smuggling

       Narcotics trafficking is, arguably, Mexico's biggest 
     business. Drug sales account for as much as $30 billion a 
     year in illegal proceeds to Mexico--more than the country's 
     top two legitimate exports combined. Traffickers take in tens 
     of billions of dollars every year from the sale of cocaine, 
     and they spend millions of dollars--at least $500 million 
     each year by some estimates--to ensure the protection and 
     cooperation of government officials. Officials with the U.S. 
     State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law 
     Enforcement Affairs have stated, ``Drug traffickers used 
     their vast wealth to corrupt police and judicial officials as 
     well as project their influence into the political sector.
       According to testimony obtained during the trial of drug 
     lord Juan Garcia Abrego, the Gulf Cartel (one of Mexico's 
     four major cartels) spends millions of dollars every month 
     buying the support of corrupt government officials. Garcia 
     himself has been charged with paying at least $25 million in 
     bribes to high-ranking Mexican officials. One of his aides 
     has testified that some of this money went to buy Javier 
     Coello Trejo, the Deputy Attorney General in charge of drug 
     enforcement during the Salinas administration. The use of 
     bribes to ease smuggling is not limited to the Gulf Cartel: 
     Jose Gutierrez Rebollo, the head of Mexico's National 
     Institute for Combatting Drugs (Mexico's DEA), was recently 
     arrested for allegedly accepting bribes from the Juarez 
     Cartel, considered to be the most powerful of Mexico's 
       Corruption in the Mexican government extends all the way 
     from the highest government officials, such as Coello and 
     Gutierrez, to federal and state police, who have reportedly 
     participated directly in cocaine smuggling. According to a 
     recent report from the General Accounting Office (GAO), 
     Mexican federal and state personnel were caught unloading a 
     jet carrying 6 to 10 metric tons of cocaine in November 1995. 
     In June 1995, federal judicial police were arrested for 
     protecting a major narcotics trafficker. In March 1995, 
     officers of the National Institute for Combatting Drugs were 
     arrested for accepting cocaine and cash to allow a shipment 
     of over a metric ton of cocaine to pass unimpeded. Mexican 
     and American officials have also acknowledged that, during 
     the Salinas administration, at least half a dozen 
     traffickers, including the Juarez Cartel's Carillo, were 
     ``quietly'' arrested and released by corrupt police and/or 
       Drug corruption is found on both sides of the border: U.S. 
     government agents have been swayed by the promise of easy 
     money as well. In February 1996, a U.S. Customs inspector was 
     convicted of scheming to allow 2,200 pounds of cocaine in 
     from Mexico through the Texas border in exchange for $1 
       Corrupt government officials in the right positions can 
     ease the transporting of narcotics in shipments of tuna and 
     other foodstuffs. According to witnesses in a pending U.S. 
     civil trial of a key Salinas administration political figure, 
     both former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and his 
     brother Raul had ties to the Gulf Cartel during Salinas' 
     presidency. Raul Salinas is alleged to have received millions 
     of dollars from drug lords and to have distributed bribes to 
     other political figures. During this time period, Raul 
     Salinas directed the Mexican government's food distribution 
     organization, a position which he could have taken advantage 
     of to aid his narcotics-trafficking associates.

          narcotics travel via eastern tropical pacific ocean

       In recent years, as counternarcotics forces have become 
     more adept at intercepting drugs in the air, Latin American 
     drug traffickers have shifted their preferred method of 
     transporting cocaine to Mexico to the sea. Department of 
     Defense records show that since 1992, known drug-trafficking 
     events involving aircraft decreased 65 percent, while those 
     involving maritime vessels increased 40 percent.
       Maritime vessels, such as fishing trawlers and cargo ships, 
     are becoming more widely used by drug cartels to smuggle 
     cocaine because the risk of capture is so low: The vastness 
     of the ocean makes intercepting ships nearly impossible. Even 
     when ships are apprehended, actually finding the drugs is 
     extremely difficult, because the illicit cargo is hidden in 
     hard-to-find secret compartments. In one recent seizure, it 
     took authorities six days of searching to discover a seven 
     ton load of cocaine on board a vessel of the type used for 
     tuna fishing. Moreover, many fishing vessels are equipped 
     with radar and scanners that allow them to determine if 
     they are being followed, giving them an edge over law 
     enforcement officials.
       Law enforcement officials state that, without informants, 
     drug shipments in maritime vessels are essentially impossible 
     to detect. Drug interdiction in the Eastern Pacific is made 
     more difficult because the U.S. has few law enforcement 
     cooperative agreements with Pacific nations.
       Officials estimate that at least 275 tons of cocaine 
     transit the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) every year. The 
     ETP is the preferred tuna fishery of many Latin American tuna 
     fleets that continue to fish by chasing and netting dolphins. 
     A class 5 or 6 tuna vessel--the type used to set purse-seine 
     nets on dolphins--is capable of concealing multi-ton 
     shipments of cocaine with much less risk of discovery than 
     other smuggling methods. Class 5 and 6 tuna vessels fish on 
     the high

[[Page S2604]]

     seas for months at a time. Although they may embark for 
     specific fishing areas, these areas cover hundreds of square 
     miles. Furthermore, unlike a cargo vessel, which generally 
     travels directly from point ``A'' to point ``B,'' a fishing 
     vessel may traverse an area many times--creating unique 
     opportunities for transporting illegal goods.
       The following information describes several recent 
     incidents in which tuna vessels and other fishing-type 
     vessels were apprehended carrying shipments of drugs. The 
     section also discusses the arrests for alleged drug-related 
     activity of persons with involvements in fishing businesses. 
     In some instances, our sources identified the vessel or 
     business in question as involved specifically in tuna 
     fishing; in others, the sources did not specify whether the 
     particular fishing enterprise was a tuna operation. In 
     addition, the sources sometimes made it clear that the 
     vessels or business were not actually engaged in fishing, but 
     were merely false fronts. Our discussion reflects these 
     distinctions where they apply.
       During the last eighteen months, four ``record-breaking'' 
     seizures of cocaine on fishing vessels have been made: in 
     July 1995, the Nataly 1, a Panamanian tuna vessel, was caught 
     off the coast of Peru with more than 12 tons of cocaine; in 
     August 1996, the Limerick, a Honduran-registered fishing ship 
     crewed by Colombians and Ecuadorians, was seized off the 
     Colombian coast with 2 tons of cocaine; in October 1996, the 
     Ecuadoran tuna-type vessel, Don Celso, was captured off the 
     country's coast with almost 7 tons of cocaine--cargo which 
     took a U.S. Coast Guard team 6 days to find; in January 1997, 
     the Viva Sinaloa, a Mexican fishing vessel operating out of 
     Mazatlan, was intercepted off Mexico's Pacific coast carrying 
     3.5 tons of cocaine.
       In September 1996, Manuel Rodriguez Lopez--believed to be 
     tied to the Cali Cartel--and owner of Grupo Pesquero 
     Rodriguez, which includes tuna companies in Baja California, 
     was placed under house arrest at the port of La Paz on 
     charges of money laundering. Rodriguez's close ties with PRI 
     officials (the ruling party in Mexico) were also under 
     investigation. Assets confiscated during his arrest--
     including six tuna vessels--were valued at $15 million. 
     Rodriguez also owned the Nataly I and administered the 
     fishing companies Pesquera Carimar S.A. de C.V., Pesquera 
     Santo Tomas, Pesquera Kino, and Pesquera Cipes--all fishing 
     companies believed to be involved in drug trafficking and 
     money laundering.
       Colombian Cali Cartel trafficker Jose Castrillon Henao--
     allegedly partners with Mexico's Rodriguez--was believed to 
     have a fleet of 100 vessels at his disposal for transporting 
     drugs. He owned the Panamanian-registered fishing company, 
     Pesquera Azteca, to which the Nataly I was registered. The 
     fleet's long range fishing boats were used to transport 
     cocaine to islands off the Mexican coast, where the drugs 
     were then loaded onto smaller boats for distribution along 
     the Mexican coast. Castrillon helped finance Colombian 
     President Ernesto Perez Balladares' 1994 campaign; the 
     President's party said they had assumed his tuna business was 
     legitimate when he made the contributions.
       Victor Julio Patino Fomeque, a leader for the Cali Cartel, 
     allegedly in charge of its naval smuggling operations, was 
     recently captured by Colombian officials. A former police 
     chief, he has been accused of using false fishing businesses 
     to smuggle tons of cocaine to the United States from the 
     Pacific port of Buenaventura.

                The Implications of Lifting the Embargo

       The current embargo on tuna from countries whose fleets set 
     on dolphins in the ETP prohibits Mexican tuna vessels from 
     selling their products in the U.S. market. After the embargo 
     was imposed in 1990, the number of Mexican vessels fishing 
     for tuna fell from 85 to 40. Lifting the embargo will most 
     likely lead to a greater number of vessels operating in the 
     ETP. More fishing vessels in the ETP will lead to conditions 
     that may provide greater opportunities for drug smuggling and 
     a reduced risk of being caught. An increase in the number of 
     vessels, combined with the likelihood that Latin American 
     tuna vessels would have more reason to approach the U.S. 
     coast, would render our interdiction efforts even more 
       The long term potential for the well-financed narcotics 
     smugglers to establish facilities for ``tuna'' processing at 
     U.S. ports is a significant additional incentive. The 
     existence of family connections on both sides of the border 
     has proven to be a significant aid to narcotics trafficking, 
     and the extension of the same methodology to smuggling via 
     the tuna industry is possible, should the embargo be lifted. 
     Direct coastal access to the U.S., either through offloading 
     at sea to small fast boats which can complete the journey to 
     our shores, or through direct unloading at tuna processing 
     facilities at U.S. ports, may expedite smuggling by 
     eliminating the need to cross the land border.

  Mrs. BOXER. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
  I thank my friend from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I believe, according to the previous 
unanimous consent, the next 5 minutes is allotted to my colleague from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from 
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I thank you.
  I would like to thank again the Senator from Georgia. It has been a 
great pleasure to work with him and Senator Hutchison. We began this 
effort over a week ago. It has been a very intensive effort. I believe 
it has resulted in a resolution which will have dominant support from 
this body, pass the House, and be signed by the President of the United 
  More importantly, I think this resolution will become the law and 
will have teeth. And those teeth are: Administration: Report on 
September 1 the progress that has been made. Here are the specific 
areas in which we wish you to make progress. If there is inadequate 
progress made, it leaves no alternative really but to fuel up for a 
massive decertification battle in a year.
  I want to say one thing about America's demand problem. Because the 
Senator from Massachusetts, Senator Kerry, who spoke on this issue, I 
think had it right. One of the things that I have found is that we have 
programs in this country that work and programs that do not work. And I 
would just like to recommend to everybody that might be watching this a 
program that does work, a program which has no Government funds, a 
program with whom my colleague from California and I are very well 
  That is a program called Delancy Street in San Francisco which takes 
the hardest core drug addicts, with about a 4-year stay, and puts them 
through an intensive program--changes their environment, changes their 
lifestyle, and does rehabilitate. As mayor, I helped Delancy get some 
land right on the waterfront. The Delancy people built their own 
facilities, which are stellar. They run their own businesses. They pay 
for their program through their labor.
  And I would just like to invite--Delancy does not know I am doing 
this--anyone, anywhere in the United States that has an interest in 
replicating a program to rehabilitate American drug addicts that works, 
to go to San Francisco, to call Mimi Silbert, the director, and take a 
look at a program that works, does not take dime one of public money 
and does it all on their own. It is one of the most impressive programs 
anywhere in the United States.
  If we had more Delancys and more kinds of permeations of Delancy, 
Delancy Streets for young children, children 14, 15, 16 years old, I 
think we could turn this Nation around. If we had more programs like 
Facts on Crack from Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, we could 
begin to turn this Nation around. But in the meantime, we have to 
retard the supply of drugs. And that is a major first step.
  So again, I say thank you to everyone that has participated. I look 
forward to the vote. I thank the Chair and I yield back the balance of 
my few minutes.
  Mr. COVERDELL addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kempthorne). The Chair recognizes the 
Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, we are about at the hour to bring to a 
conclusion a very long and arduous effort to produce a positive result 
as we struggle with the ravages of drugs in our country and in Mexico 
and in the hemisphere.

  I want to acknowledge Senator Kyl of Arizona who has made a 
contribution in terms of border agents. Again, I want to thank the 
chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Helms of North 
Carolina, for his great work and, of course, my immediate colleagues in 
the work, Senator Feinstein and Senator Hutchison and the staffs that 
have worked so long and late to produce this resolution.
  This resolution is a renewal statement. It is a new place and it 
changes the dynamics of the debate with regard to the drug cartels in 
the United States, in Mexico, and the hemisphere.
  I would simply close by reiterating my statement earlier. I hope all 
of our colleagues in the hemisphere, Mexico and the other countries, 
will understand that this is a new statement, it is an honest appraisal 
of a war that is ravaging the opportunities before us as we come on the 
new century, and see it as a new statement, a statement of renewal and 
reinvigorated alliance.

[[Page S2605]]

  Mr. President, the hour of 3 o'clock has arrived, and by the previous 
unanimous consent, I believe that moves us to the vote. I yield the 
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to 
be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The hour of 3 o'clock having arrived, the 
question now occurs on agreeing to amendment No. 25. The yeas and nays 
have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Virginia [Mr. Warner] 
is necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 94, nays 5, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 35 Leg.]


     Smith, Gordon H.


     Smith, Bob

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The amendment (No. 25) was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the joint resolution.
  The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed and read the third 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question now is on passage of joint 
resolution, as amended.
  The joint resolution (H.J. Res. 58), as amended, was passed.
  The title was amended so as to read:

       Amend the title to read as follows: ``A joint resolution 
     requiring the President to submit to Congress a report on the 
     efforts of the United States and Mexico to achieve results in 
     combating the production of and trafficking in illicit 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Chair will now 
recognize the Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the Chair.