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Monday, August 17, 2009

Major Shake-up in Mexico Customs

In an effort to fight corruption Mexico has replaced more than 1,000 customs agents at airports and border crossings, BBC reports Monday

The agents were let go after their contracts expired and they are being replaced by new inspectors trained to detect contraband such as guns and drugs smuggled into the country.

Officials also say that during the changeover, the army took over customs border posts.

The shake-up aims at seizing more drugs and guns smuggled in from the US and at improving Mexico's tax collection since nearly 50% of the country's Value Added Tax (VAT) is collected at customs.

The replacement of the customs officers follows a similar operation in the police force, where thousands have been fired.

Just a week ago, Mexican President Felipe Calderon received high praise by his US counterpart Barack Obama for his determined approach to defeat the drug cartels.


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