Mexico: Mexican civil organizations send letter regarding the Merida Initiative to the US Congress

May 8, 2009

On May 6, hundreds of Mexican organizations of the civil society sent a letter to members of the US Senate urging them to reconsider the military financing included in the Merida Initiative. This week, the US Congress will consider increasing aid to Mexican military and public security institutions as part of this Initiative.

The letter, signed by various human rights and non-governmental organizations, emphasized the increase in human rights violations that has accompanied the militarization of the war on drugs. They proposed that the funds should not go to the armed forces but instead should be used to strengthen civil institutions. The letter stressed that “In particular, we urge the United States to consider ways to support a holistic response to security problems; based on tackling the root causes of violence and ensuring the full respect of human rights; not on the logic of combat.”

The letter underscored that instead of continuing the militarization and the war on drugs, the governments of the United States and Mexico should focus on improving drug treatment programs, reducing the flow of arms to Mexico, deal with structural causes like poverty, inequality, the lack of educational opportunities, and in addition should work to strengthen civil institutions and improve the justice system.

For More Information:

To read the letter of the organizations of the civil society

Merida Initiative Portal, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

More Information from SIPAZ:

Mexico: US approves another 300 million dollars for Mexico as part of the Merida Initiative, SIPAZ Blog, 3/12/09

The Merida Initiative in Mexico (SIPAZ Report, 08/08)

Mexico/US: Merida Inititative. Interviews and reporting from SIPAZ (8/20/08)


Mexico: US approves another 300 million dollars for Mexico as part of the Merida Initiative

March 12, 2009

Source: Terra Actualidad

Source: Terra Actualidad

On March 11, the United States government approved another 300 million dollars for the Mexican government as part of the Merida Initiative, a program of military aid for the war on drugs. The Merida Initiative is an agreement between the US and Mexico with the objective of confronting the drug-trafficking in Mexico and consists of 1.4 billion dollars over a 3 year period. According to the press release by the Embassy of the United States in Mexico, “This renewed funding, when combined with the $400 million made available late last year, demonstrates the United States’ continued and serious commitment to its shared responsibility in working with Mexico to confront drug trafficking and organized crime.” The aid package of 300 million dollars for 2009 was lower than the amount promised by the US: 450 million dollars.

Nevertheless, various social and human rights organizations are concerned about the consequences of the militarization which accompanies the war on drugs. In addition others questioned the right of the United States to condemn Mexico when the US itself has not been capable of controlling the sale of high-powered firearms on the border of both countries. Additionally, according to the Archdioceses of Mexico, “they [the US] have not recognized the consumption of drugs in their own country, the largest market for narcotics”. The government of the United States is giving military aid to Mexico in order to fight the war on drugs, however it is not making an effort to reduce the demand for drugs which is fueling the conflict in Mexico, a conflict which left of death toll of 5,61 in 2008 alone.

For More Information:

Press release from the US Embassy in Mexico, (3/11)

Human Rights Advocates Dismayed At U.S. Military Funding to Mexico, News Blaze (3/10)

In Spanish:

México debe rechazar “limosnas” de EU para lucha antinarco: Iglesia, La Jornada, (11/3)

Iniciativa Mérida es limosna: Iglesia, El Universal, (12/3)

More Information from SIPAZ:

Mexico/US: Mérida Initiative funding released, SIPAZ (12/4/08)

The Merida Initiative in Mexico (SIPAZ, 08/08)

Mexico/US: Merida Inititative. Interviews and reporting from SIPAZ (20/08/08)