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very very good news from mexico

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    [Apologies for the long post - but a full understanding of the implications of yesterday's news requires an understanding of the background]


    Most of you will know that Oraline iv has been trialled in one State (Nuevo Leon) and that the State Government has announced a further roll-out of the testing in 200 schools. This was to commence in late October, but has apparently been delayed by the import license issue.

    But what of the other 30 States in Mexico??

    Those who have followed the Mexican story will remember that Federal President Calderon announced the Safe Schools Program in 8,000 schools in July 2007. This was to include several concurrent anti-drug initiatives - lectures, demos, brochures, school bag checks and drug testing.

    As we all know, the program was implemented but without the drug testing component. That was relegated to the 'too hard' basket - perhaps due to cost, or the civil liberties backlash, or both.

    However, two States (Nuevo Leon and Iztapalapa) had the balls to push on with it independently of the Federal Government. And one of them (NL), of course, chose Oraline iv as the preferred testing device after a lengthy tender process.

    This has been good for us - as it has the promise of reasonably substantial on-going orders in Nuevo Leon (probably 30,000 per annum minimum) but more importantly, because of the potential of other States to follow NL's lead (either independently or with Fed Governwemnt support).

    With respect to this, we had some exciting news in early August when, in his 2008-09 school year inauguration speech, President Calderon flagged the extension of the Safe Schools Program (including the inspection of backpacks and ANTI-DOPING components) from 8 thousand to 14 thousand educational institutions, across the country.

    In other words - probably due to the escalating drug problem AND the upcoming massive injection of drug-fighting Merida Initiative funds from the USA ($450M per annum)- the Fed Government has apparently developed a renewed interest in schools drug-testing across the country.

    So what has happened since this speech??

    Nothing much it seems. Or has it?

    We know that there have been frustrating and on-going delays with release of the Merida Initiative funds. Signed off in June, but still not delivered.

    So the Mexican Fed Government can probably not afford to launch a national schools drug testing initiative - just yet.

    But this will change very soon it seems.

    On Thursday Oct 23 (just a week ago), the following was reported in the US press:

    "The U.S. Congress in June approved $465 million in aid for Mexico and Central America for equipment to defeat drug cartels, but violence continues to spiral in Mexico. More than 3,725 people have died this year in a war for control of smuggling routes into the United States and killings and kidnappings have also spilled across the border.

    Funding for the new program has not yet been released. But Rice said the money would be sent as soon as letters of agreement governing the funds were finished.

    "We all want the disbursements to begin and we expect that to happen, really, quite soon," she said at a joint press conference with Espinosa.

    [http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE49M0E920081023]

    AND HERE IS THE PUNCHLINE.

    What do we get out of Mexico, concurrent with this delivery of Merida funding?

    This announcement yesterday from the Federal Education Minister - about the DOUBLING of the Safe Schools program funding and a clear statement that 'antidoping' will be a component of the program.

    And that is across the WHOLE country!

    Could this be the reason that Express Diagnostics needs an import license for 'large quantities' of Oraline??

    Here is the press report of the announcement:

    "Vazquez Mota recommended that the mayors do not expect that to the crime reaches its municipalities, whether it is possible to prevent it.


    Jue, 30/10/2008 - 00:14 Thu,

    Leon, Gto - It promises to Secretary of Education, Josefina Vazquez Mota, to double the budget allocated to the Safe School program: "I am committed to the mayors and mayors to go together with resources to the Safe School program."

    They recommended that the elected are not expected to reach its municipal crime or organized crime or being loaded when the rates of addiction can be prevented.

    Vazquez Mota said that the theme of the Safe School budget has grown by up to 500 per year in some years.

    It is currently working primarily in 14 thousand primary and secondary schools because each day the average age where children use drugs is declining.

    For a school that can be safely must have a board of school participation, besides being made ANTIDOPING tests.



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