HomeMerida Initiative

Merida Initiative


The "Mérida Initiative" is a multi-billion dollar effort by the United States government to assist Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean in their fight against drug trafficking organizations. Proposed under President Bush and implemented under President Obama, the program has provided close to $1.8 billion in assistance to the region to date. About $1.5 billion has gone to Mexico, $300 million to Central America and $40 million to the Caribbean.

In some ways, the initiative mirrors U.S. efforts to aid Colombia through what became known as "Plan Colombia". The money for the Isthmus region and Caribbean basin goes mostly for equipment and military hardware, and police and judicial training to deal with the increasingly violent and sophisticated drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). These DTOs frequently have better weapons and intelligence gathering equipment than their counterparts in the state and undermine law enforcement efforts by corrupting vast sections of the regional governments.

However, critics, which include the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO), have said the initiative’s money has been slow to arrive and represents a small portion of what is needed. This is particularly true of Central American nations, which do not have the resources or training to face to the growing presence of largely Mexican DTOs in their territory.

The initiative has also come under attack by watchdog groups for its emphasis on the enforcement component of the strategy. Most of the aid has gone to the Mexican army and police who are fighting the DTOs. The Mexican army’s growing role in the battle in Mexico has come under particular scrutiny due to allegations of human rights abuses by that institution. But while allegations of abuses have risen, accountability has not followed. Human Rights groups say military courts have not prosecuted any member of the military for abuses.The Obama administration appears to be aware of these criticisms and concerns. In its proposal for FY2011 funding, which officials dubbed “Beyond Mérida,” the administration created a four-pillar strategy, which includes (1) disrupting the flow of drugs; (2) reforming the judicial system in Mexico; (3) creating a “21st Century border”; and (4) strengthening communities. Of the $310 million that would go to Mexico, $175 million would go toward justice reform. The proposal needs the approval of congress, which is likely to include a similarly large package of aid outside the auspices of Mérida to border protection.Resources

compartir icon icon icon

¿Este contenido fue útil?

Queremos seguir robusteciendo la base de datos más extensa sobre crimen organizado de América Latina, pero para eso necesitamos recursos.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

¿Este contenido fue útil?

Queremos seguir robusteciendo la base de datos más extensa sobre crimen organizado de América Latina, pero para eso necesitamos recursos.


Contenido relacionado


Se sabía que sería una tarea ingrata. Cuando el presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador asumió el cargo en diciembre de…


El arresto del cabecilla del Cartel de Santa Rosa de Lima, “El Marro”, fue bien recibida por el presidente de…


La guerra militarizada contra las drogas en México llegó a su décimo año en 2016, pero con la generalización de…

Sobre InSight Crime


Investigación sobre inseguridad social en Guatemala llega a las primeras planas

10 DIC 2021

La más reciente investigación de InSight Crime sobre un caso de corrupción al interior del instituto de seguridad social de Guatemala, relacionado con la muerte de…


La investigación sobre El Dorado de Maduro llega a los titulares

3 DIC 2021

La investigación de InSight Crime sobre el tráfico ilegal de oro en el estado Bolívar y la Amazonía de Venezuela tuvo un gran impacto en los medios de comunicación. Además…


Talleres sobre perspectiva de género y técnicas de investigación

26 NOV 2021

Los días 23 y 24 de noviembre, InSight Crime llevó a cabo un taller titulado “Cómo cubrir el crimen organizado: técnicas de investigación y enfoque de género”, en los que…


InSight Crime nombra a dos nuevos integrantes de su Junta Directiva

19 NOV 2021

En las últimas semanas, InSight Crime agregó dos nuevos miembros a su Junta Directiva. Joy Olson es la exdirectora ejecutiva de la Oficina en Washington para…


InSight Crime aporta argumentos en el debate sobre contrabando en Paraguay

12 NOV 2021

La información sobre las tendencias y patrones del crimen organizado que InSight Crime provee a diario llega a los escritorios de diplomáticos, miembros de las fuerzas públicas y políticos de…