The U.S. has announced plans to give direct aid, including police training, to local and state-level authorities in Mexico.

William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, announced the measure, saying that local and state-level police forces face the worst of the country’s drug violence, and are the most in need of training.

Previously, assistance under the Merida Initiative aid package has focused on training federal law enforcement agents.

“The two national governments have decided that, in the future, we are going to try to put more resources at the disposal of the state governments, or … the mayors,” said Brownfield.

Brownfield said he hopes to build training centers on Mexican soil, all of which would be under Mexican authority. They will initially be staffed by personnel from Webb County Sheriff’s Office, with the possibility of the National Guard getting involved in the future.

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