A new four-pronged architecture for Merida has been drawn up that adds police and judicial training, border projects, and the promotion of civil society and human rights to the original focus on attacking drug gangs and their leaders. The new programs are to be ratified next week at a bilateral cabinet meeting in Mexico that will be attended by a host of senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.The editorial has gotten a lot of attention here.
The broadening of the Merida program is logical. Mr. Calderón has recognized that military force alone will not save Juarez, and in any case the Mexican army and Congress remain cautious about further expanding such collaboration with the United States. Still, given that the level of violence is still rising, the sharp reduction in U.S. assistance makes little sense. The United States should be doing everything that Mexico will allow it to do to aid its security forces. It also should be doing more on the U.S. side of the border. While the Obama administration has taken some steps to crack down on the trafficking of guns to Mexico, most of the guns of the drug gangs still come from the United States.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
More for Mexico
The Washington Post today calls for more cash for Mexico and a broadening of focus for the Mérida Initiative: