Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mexico: The Merida Initiative

An article in today's Washington Post (here) says that the US is not living up to the promises made in the 2007 Merida Initiative.

Merida (which was named for the capital of Yucatan, where the relevant meetings were held) was an agreement between Bush and Felipe Calderon for an increased US commitment to fighting Mexico's drug trade.

The US committed $1.4 billion through Merida, but so far we've only actually spent $7 million. One of the specific items that we promised but have so far not delivered is attack helicopters.

More than 10,000 Mexicans have died from drug violence during the past three years.

According to the article, the four countries which receive the most US money for military programs are:
  1. Israel
  2. Egypt
  3. Jordan
  4. Pakistan
179. Why on earth would the State and/or Defense Departments be delaying this money? I know my sense of dollar amounts has gotten all screwed up by the size of the bailout and stimulus packages, but $1.4 billion seems like a drop in the bucket. Why wouldn't Janet Napolitano have made a big deal about Merida, and the US's living up to its promises thereunder, when she talked about border security a few weeks back?

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