AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

The Merida Initiative

The Merida Initiative, as is the case with most of the negotiations between Mexico and the United States, is again one of those deals which was struck behind closed doors between President Bush and President Calderon, so it is unlikely that a great many of you are familiar with it, or have even heard of it. Even its first year funding was tacked onto a funding bill for the war in Iraq in order to expedite, and essentially sneak through, its implementation. This lack of transparency has been the case with this Initiative from the beginning:

An excellent source for information on various aspects of the Initiative is to be found at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars website, Merida Initiative Portal:

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=5949&fuseaction=topics.item&news_id=407349

For instance, according to the overview of the Initiative…

“Congress is currently considering a proposal to provide $1.4 billion in equipment, software, and technical assistance to Mexico over three years as well as a smaller but still unspecified amount to Central America over the same period. The first year of the initiative is part of the Iraq Supplemental, while the second and third years will be discussed as part of the regular FY09 and FY10 appropriations process.

The Merida Initiative is actually more than an assistance package—rather it is one element in a broader strategy of growing cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to address a shared threat presented by organized crime involved in drug trafficking. The U.S. and Mexican governments have increased joint efforts significantly in recent years in order to protect communities on both sides of the border. Moreover, both countries recognize the need to engage Central America in broader regional efforts.”

…which confirms those “rumors” mentioned by Glenn Beck of CNN in the previous video.

Although I am unable to link directly to H.R.6028, the various versions of the Merida Initiative bill can be reached by a search for “Merida Initiative” at the following link:

http://thomas.loc.gov/

In a very abbreviated nutshell, the Merida Initiative is to provide aircraft, high tech equipment and infrastructure, technical support, and training to the government of Mexico for its military and law enforcement agencies to enhance its “War On Drugs” and internal security. Although Congress has included a number of “declarations” (Sense of Congress) regarding corruption, human rights, transparency, and “rule of law” programs, those provisions are dependent upon enforcement by a government which has allowed its military and law enforcement to misbehave with virtual impunity:

http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/23/xico-drugs-violence-cx_0527oxford.html

“Recent killings of senior police and army officials in Mexico suggest that the government of President Felipe Calderón has managed to significantly hurt drug cartels and that corruption is common among police and other government bodies.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11226144

WASHINGTON — Armed men in Mexican military uniforms have illegally crossed into the United States to provide cover for drug smugglers, and have fired upon U.S. Border Patrol agents on several occasions, a congressional panel was told Tuesday.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/aug/06/soldiers-cross-into-us-hold-guns-to-agent/

“A U.S. Border Patrol agent was held at gunpoint Sunday night by members of the Mexican military who had crossed the border into Arizona, but the soldiers returned to Mexico without incident when backup agents responded to assist.”

http://www.infowars.net/articles/may2008/150508Commando.htm

“Two representatives have urged Congress to take action to address the worsening situation on the southern border which has been described by reporters and activist groups as “an all out war.”

And…

“The Houston-area Republican told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that members of Mexico’s elite counter-narcotics teams, trained at Fort Benning, Ga., have defected and are now in the pay of drug cartels.

Poe highlighted the fact that the guerrilla-style commandos are regularly crossing the border into the U.S. and have been involved in violence and killings as far north as Dallas.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,321547,00.html

MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Border Patrol confirmed 29 recorded incursions into the U.S. by Mexican military or other government agents in the last 12 months, according to a report made public Wednesday by a watchdog group.

Judicial Watch, a conservative, U.S.-based public interest group, said in a news release that Mexican officials were armed in 17 of the 29 incursions during the fiscal year between October 2005 to October 2006.

The group obtained the information through a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The report includes a description of a January 2006 confrontation between Texas officials and several armed men in military uniforms who were seen in a military Humvee near Fort Hancock, Texas. No shots were fired and the suspects fled back into Mexico.

http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/6666879/detail.html

“Just a week ago a caravan of three vehicles were spotted on I-10 by Hudspeth Deputies and chased to the same area of the border. One vehicle was captured, a second made it across the Rio Grande safely and a third vehicle became stuck in the river. As deputies converged on the scene, they say a Humvee approached from the Mexican side, and heavily armed men in military clothing crossed into the United States to rescue the smugglers. The vehicle was burned on the Mexican side of the river bank.

After this latest incident on Tuesday night, the U.S. Border Patrol reports that they were contacted by Mexican authorities who admitted the men were Mexican soldiers. Border Patrol Assistant Chief Robert Boatright told KFOX “Mexican officials got in touch with our Mexican liaison unit to advise us that they had requested the assistance of the Mexican military and that they were down in Hudspeth County.” But he tells us this contact only occurred after the Mexican soldiers had been spotted by the Sheriff’s Deputy.”

…and the incidents go on and on, as the Mexican government turns a blind eye.

On February 7, 2008 a hearing was held by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the Committee of Foreign Affairs regarding the Merida Initiative:

http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/40659.pdf

One of the individuals offering testimony in support was Marisa R. Lino, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Policy/International Affairs of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Within that testimony was the following statement:

“On March 3, 2006, a bi-national action plan to combat border violence and improve public safety was signed by Secretary Chertoff and his counterpart in Mexico. This action plan set forth goals and objectives to ensure the appropriate law enforcement agencies of the respective governments would work together to provide an effective comprehensive joint response to incidents of cross-border violence and crime. In response to this plan, CBP created a headquarters bi-national working group to oversee the development and implementation of Border Violence Protocols (BVP) along the southwest border. These protocols serve as a mechanism to facilitate operational response to incidents, with CBP, ICE and their Mexican counterparts coordinating together. The US government and the Mexican government have incorporated state and local police activities into the protocols. The Border Violence Protocols have now been instituted along the entire US-Mexico border and are working efficiently and effectively. The Border Violence Protocols are another example of how the United States and Mexico are working closely together to create a safer and more secure border region.

Given that “their Mexican counterparts” seem to be participating in the violence, that would seem to be a rather naive statement which does not bode well for the perspective offered by the agency charged with the protection of, not only our borders, but of our nation.

And what will this technological enhancement of Mexican military and law enforcement for purposes of internal security mean for the Mexican people?:

…and how deep, and high up, does the corruption we will be financing run?:

This video is a must see and a shocker!

For now, at any rate, the debate is irrelevant because the Merida Initiative passed and President Bush signed both the Initiative and the Iraq Supplemental Bill which included the financing:

http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/eng/eborders_Merida_Initiative.html

June 30, 2008

Message from Ambassador Garza on the signing of the Merida Initiative by President Bush
“The Merida Initiative represents a new era of cooperation which will amplify and strengthen existing law enforcement cooperation, intelligence sharing, and training programs. It will also provide new equipment for Mexican forces to use to better confront the common threat of drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime.”

President Bush Signs H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008, which includes the Merida Initiative.

There IS one bright spot, however…the Merida Initiative “sunsets” in three years. For the optimistic amongst us, perhaps our Congress and new President will learn from their mistakes by then…but I really doubt it.

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August 18, 2008 6:04 am - Posted by | Mexico | , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] Original AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration […]

    Pingback by The Merida Initiative | August 18, 2008 6:21 am | Reply

  2. Acceptance of climate change is NOT the mainstream view, at present. ,

    Comment by Ganry68 | October 13, 2009 5:17 am | Reply

  3. The report is not a public record. ,

    Comment by BadGirl38 | October 22, 2009 5:32 am | Reply


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