The AP has been doing a little digging re: the $1 billion in U.S. taxes supposedly funneled to Mexico to help our neighbor to the south combat drug-related crime. So how’s that going, then?

Calderon told reporters this week: “We have received about $400 million.”

In fact, it’s $161 million.

That includes $66 million for five rugged Bell helicopters, $2.7 million for four bullet-tracing devices; $2.4 million for 337 lie detector machines and $1.4 million for 13 bulletproof Suburbans. There is also $15 million to train civilian watchdog groups, money laundering investigators and drug-sniffing dog handlers. A prison was revamped with $191,000 in first aid kits, training rifles, defibrillators and a new weight machine.

Adding in all of the $680 million promised so far, the budgets show that spending for 13 helicopters and five airplanes dwarf all other outlays, amounting to $507 million. Some of them won’t get to Mexico until 2014.

The rest of the money — $440 million — remains in federal accounts, unassigned and unspent along with another $200 million allocated beyond the original Merida [initiative] for 2010.

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