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.
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