Friday, August 01, 2008

Regarding the Merida Intiative to Mexico

On May 29 The Palm Beach Post published an article, “Richardson urges US on aid package for Mexico," which described Governor Richardson's urging U.S. policymakers to strike a deal acceptable to President Calderon of Mexico so that Mexico may receive aid to fight crime.
COHA Research Associate Emily Dunn submitted this letter to the editor in response to the article.

Dear Editor,
Despite the argument that it would be a violation of Mexico’s sovereignty for the U.S. Congress to lay down conditions before any aid is dispersed under the $1.4 billion Merida Initiative, investigations into recurring human rights abuses by Mexico’s military would prove extremely beneficial (“Richardson urges US on aid package for Mexico,” May 29). In addition to curbing human rights abuses, Mexico could gain from this telling blow against corruption, U.S. aid aimed at stopping crime and ending of the spate of crime and drug shipments crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexico’s failure to adequately confront its rampant gangs has allowed the number of armed groups to climb. As The Post correctly notes, crime-related homicides have increased considerably this year. Clearly, President Calderon needs the aid that the proposed Merida Initiative would supply him in order to curb the dangerous increase in the number of organized crime groups and the lethal weapons at their disposal.

While the equipment and training that the Merida Initiative would provide may be essential to stem organized crime and ward off drug cartels that adversely affect both Mexico and the United States, the assistance to one of the most corrupt societies in the world needs to be supervised. If Washington is to aid Mexico in confronting crime, gangs and drugs, then Mexico should not oppose reasonable conditions calling for close monitoring of its war against derelictions in all forms.

Emily A. Dunn
Research Associate, Council on Hemispheric Affairs

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