Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mérida Initiative portal

The Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute has put up a portal on the Mérida Initiative. It is well worth a look. There are all kinds of documents and statements by politicians, academics, and a variety of analysts. For example, Roderic Camp, who is the expert on the Mexican military, has this to say:

The relationship or potential relationship between the two militaries, and the Mexican military’s enhanced role in its anti-drug trafficking mission, has actual, potential and perceived consequences on civil-military relations and on democratic consolidation. These have been summed up as blurring the lines between appropriate and inappropriate domains for professional actions; expanding the managerial roles played by the military in society; increasing the influence of military intelligence operations; and enhancing the role military officers play in national politics and decision-making.
There are also links to the original legislation, briefings, testimonies, and the like.

h/t La Plaza


Anonymous,  7:34 PM  

The Merida initiative is a terrible initiative that makes a now peaceful, non-militarized country into a violent, militarized country which has little concern about human rights.

First of all, a decrease in violence will never occur because the huge demand for illegal drugs in the U.S. will always provide money and strong incentive for drug lords to operate. Simply pouring more money into the Mexican military will only escalate the battle between the military and drug lords and therefore increase violence.

The real solution, in my opinion is to simply legalize all recreational drugs 100%

Second of all, the use of the Mexican military is against the Mexican constitution which prohibits such use of the military during peacetime. Calderon is breaking the law by using his military in such fashion.

Third of all, the Mexican culture itself facilitates drug traffiking. Anyone can see just by hearing the thousands of "narco corridos" that are part of the folk-culture in Mexico. It is seen as an honorable job in Mexico. The people themselves and the police often work directly with drug traffikers. I can tell you this from personal experience. I spent time in Mexico and I saw how the police let people sell drugs and even protect them. I even knew a few policemen and they even told me that they got into the job in order to get good salaries from drug traffikers. Furthermore I know Mexican soldiers who do exactly the same thing. It is very hard to change something which is very much a part of a culture. And drug traffiking in Mexico is very much a part of its culture.

What the people of Mexico really want are jobs. If we really want to help Mexico (and I'm not saying everybody does, just that one of the pretexts that pro Merida initiative people use is that they say that they are helping Mexico) we should use money to create jobs in Mexico instead of dictator-style militaries. Furthermore, what the people of Mexico really want from the U.S. is immigration reform. I cannot understand how some people sell off the Merida initiative as a gesture to show Mexico that we care. It is simply a measure which helps Bush and Calderon dictate the world through military force, a solution which destabilizes regions and cause insurgencies as is clearly seen in Afghanistan and Iraq. I hope that the people in the U.S. realize the danger of such an initiative and that they start doing something to block such a terrible initiative and use the money for more worthy causes.

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