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The governments of Mexico and the United States are working on a bilateral security plan to replace the Merida Initiative, signed in 2008 during the administrations of Felipe Calderon and George W. Bush, informed the head of the office of Counterdrug and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US embassy in Mexico, Alberto Rodriguez.
"At this time, the U.S. and Mexican governments are in a dialogue on how to reformulate the security cooperation relationship. This new scheme will replace what was the cooperation under the Merida Initiative," stated the diplomat of Joe Biden's administration in the framework of the presentation of the #ElDineroFácilSePagaCaro program, against money laundering, with the participation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
"One of these priorities of both countries is precisely the issue of illicit financing and money laundering and its connection with the entire spectrum of illicit activities," he added.
The details of the agreement reached will be provided in the coming weeks, said Rodríguez, a project that has been criticized by the current president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, for considering that it responds with helicopter and guns to fundamental problems, such as poverty and migration.
"Enough of trying to solve a social and economic problem with coercive measures. We don't want helicopters and guns; what we want is for people to have resources to plant, to cultivate their land", declared the president on September 22 regarding the possibility of implementing social programs in Central America with Biden's help.
Active since 2008, Plan Mérida was established between Mexico, the United States and Central America with the alleged purpose of containing drug trafficking in the region, with a multi-million dollar injection of U.S. resources to operate in Mexican territory.
The Mexican government is seeking to overhaul the Merida Initiative, a $3 billion U.S. aid program that has been the centerpiece of security cooperation for more than a decade — but has failed to reduce bloodshed https://t.co/gdyqVAIl7f
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) of the Mexican government, Marcelo Ebrard, assured in July of this year 2021 that the Merida Initiative is dead, in parallel to the presidential affirmations of giving a new orientation to the international support of the United States in matters of security and migratory crisis with Central America.
López Obrador has repeatedly stressed that programs such as Youth Building the Future and Sowing Life, promoted by his administration, should be extended in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to address the root causes of migration and insecurity.
In the #ElDineroFácilSePagaCaro program and the United Nations and the U.S. government, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Ministry of Finance, the Mexican National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) and the Citizens' Council are similarly participating.
The original proposal of the Merida Initiative contemplated the contribution of US$1.4 billion by the U.S. government to Mexico for the modernization of military equipment and vehicles, training and technical assistance for police-military security forces, as well as assistance for the strengthening of the legal and judicial infrastructure.