Both countries explore new approaches to security, says the foreign secretary
The Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, affirmed this Wednesday that the Merida Initiative, as the policy of military persecution of drug trafficking is known, ended between Mexico and the United States.
“The Merida Initiative is over and now we are entering another stage,” said the Mexican foreign minister.
Ebrard recalled that on October 8, the High-Level Security Dialogue between the two governments will be held in Mexico City and the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will attend; the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, and the Attorney General, Merrick Garland.
Regarding the Dialogue, he said that the main objective will be to finalize “a document of understanding” which is “very advanced” and on which we have worked together.
“(The document) puts in the center of attention, in the case of Mexico, reducing violence, homicides and all forms of violence that we have in the country,” Ebrard told the media after an act of the Economic Culture Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
It was also proposed to pay attention to “why is the consumption of narcotics increasing so much in the United States and in Mexico? (…) What can we do together? And new actions or new approaches to common development and this, of course, contrasts with what was the Merida Initiative, “he said.
The Mexican Foreign Minister considered that what was the foundation of the Merida Initiative, its main objective, “is now overcome with this new meeting between Mexico and the United States” which has been called “understanding.”
He pointed out that the results of the initiative were an increase in drug use, violence, and arms trafficking. “And there are no results, we have to do something else. If we continue doing the same, we will reach the same,” he said.
A month ago, during the plenary meeting of senators of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena), Ebrard spoke about the relationship between the presidents of Mexico and the United States.
He said there is “a great affinity” in the views of the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the American Joe Biden on drug and security policy.
At that meeting, the foreign minister opted for certifying the “death certificate of the Merida Initiative” and defended an approach aimed at “addressing the causes” and using “more intelligence than force.”
Through the Merida Initiative, approved in 2008, the United States Congress has allocated billions of dollars in financial aid to support Mexican security forces in the fight against drug trafficking.
Mexico established two conditions that have to do with mutual respect so that episodes such as the capture of the former head of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos, are not repeated, as well as respect for sovereignty, he added.
In addition, “two fundamental principles were put on the table, which has to do with mutual respect. We want it to be clearly established what mutual respect means, this due to the precedent of what happened with General Cienfuegos and other cases so that they do not happen again, and the other fundamental principle is respect for the sovereignty of each country ” Ebrard mentioned.