President-Elect Of Mexico Cancels Planned $1.3Bn U.S. Helicopter Order

Screengrab/Washington Post/YouTube

Mexico's newly elected president said he will cancel an order for eight military helicopters after taking office.

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico has said an order for eight military helicopters from the United States will be canceled after he officially assumes office in December.

According to Reuters, the 26 billion pesos ($1.36 billion) planned purchase – intended for use by Mexico’s navy – will be cut as the incoming president attempts to cut wasteful spending.

“This purchase is going to be canceled because we can not make this expenditure,” Lopez Obrador told reporters on Wednesday after meeting with incoming legislators from his MORENA party.

In April, the U.S. government said Mexico had requested to buy eight MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters and that the sale would strengthen Mexico’s ability to fight criminal organizations.

The new administration intends to approach ongoing, and in some cases worsening, problems with drug cartels in a wholly different manner than previous leadership:

Lopez Obrador has announced plans to shake up the strategy in the nation’s battle against drug traffickers by suggesting a negotiated peace and amnesty for some of the very people currently targeted by security forces.

His pick for the interior ministry, Olga Sanchez, has said the new government will look into decriminalizing marijuana and regulating opium for pharmaceutical use.

Read more here.