Particularly, many democrats and republicans expressed their dismay about the fact that the Bush administration did not notify or seek congressional input while the policy was being developed. However, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson, who actually drafted the 'Merida initiative' says, "Although it [Merida] was proposed by a Republican administration, it was passed by a Democratic [party-controlled] Congress." [Jim Fischer, 2009]
Some policy analysts from Mexico have expressed their concern that controlling drug trafficking in Mexico would be better achieved if the U.S. takes active measures to control the arms trafficking from across its borders into Mexico. Gen. Javier del Real Magallanes, who is in command of the northeastern states such as Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosi says, "If there are no weapons, there's no violence. These arms aren't from Mexico; they're from the other side." [Laura Starr, 2007]. Sharing similar opinion the Mexican Attorney General Mr. Eduardo Medina Mora, stated in recent interview, "For me, it is far more important that the United States is dedicated to confronting these four components of the drug-trafficking equation." [Laura Starr, 2007] This is a pertinent point and there is no doubt that for the Merida initiative to have positive effects the U.S. should also undertake active measures to control the flow of weapons across the border.
Also some officials in Mexico are concerned about the nature of the 'Merida initiative' and its potential implications. For instance, Laura Carlsen, the director of Americas policy program in Mexico feels that the 'Merida initiative' would have wide repercussions. Human rights violation would be one of them. (American training in Torture techniques) Also there is an increased risk that the 'Merida initiative' would lead to criminalization of migrants. As Laura Carlsen reports the Merida plan would mean that migrants would be 'lumped in to the same category as terrorists and with drug traffickers." [Inside USA]
Mexico is involved in a long hard battle against the drug cartels. Equipped with both economic power and arms power the drug cartels are proliferating violence, abductions, sexual assaults, human trafficking and responsible for killing thousands of people every year. Military Cooperation between the U.S. And the Mexico is critical for tackling such a formidable force that the drug cartels have evolved into. As a neighbor and an important trading ally, it is in the U.S. interests that Mexico remains a stable and a flourishing democracy. Providing military support, training, and the use of American military in Mexico is definitely a positive step towards that objective. However, the U.S. should also be actively controlling and checking the demand for drugs within its borders and take measures to plug the loopholes in the laws that allow the sale of ARMS along the border states. The Merida initiative and the use of American military force in Mexico would bear fruit in their fight against the drug cartels only if these important and indispensable measures are also undertaken side by side.
1) Colleen W. Cook, Oct 2007, 'CRS Report for Congress: Mexico's Drug Cartels', retrieved Apr 22nd, 2010, from, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34215.pdf
2) Bernd Debussman, 'Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update', retrieved Apr 22nd 2010, from, http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/604/mexico_drug_war_update
3) Manuel Roig-Franzia, 'U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings In Mexico', retrieved Apr 22nd 2010, from, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/28/AR2007102801654.html
5) Mark Memott, Mar 24, 2010,' U.S. Military doing Limited Drug War Work in Mexico, Napolitano says,' retrieved Apr 22nd 2010, from, http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/03/mexico_us_military_drug_war_na.html
6) David T. Johnson, Mar 10, 2009, 'The Merida Initiative', retrived Apr 22nd 2010, from, http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/rm/120225.htm
7) Laura Starr, Dec 2007, 'Does the Merida Initiative Represent a New Direction for U.S.-Mexico Relations, or Does it Simply Refocus the Issue Elsewhere?' retrieved Apr 22nd, 2010, from, http://www.worldpress.org/Americas/3020.cfm
8) Jim Fischer, Feb 25, 2009, 'Mexican Cooperation is at Heart of Merida initiatives Success. President Calderon's leadership key to effectiveness of Joint Effort', retrived Apr 22nd 2010 from, http://www.america.gov/st/democracyhr-english/2009/February/20090225162937esnamfuak0.448971.html