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Press Releases 08

Congress Approves Merida Initiative

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Mexico City, June 27, 2008 - “The U.S. Congress passed a finalized supplemental budget bill that includes funding of the Merida Initiative. This historic step empowers President Bush to sign into law this important program to strengthen cooperation between the United States and Mexico to fight the drug trade and organized crime that impact both our nations.

“In 2007 President Calderon and President Bush jointly decided that more had to be done to fight the traffic in illicit drugs undermining society and destroying lives on both sides of the border. The Calderon administration dedicated new resources, and the brave men and women of Mexico’s civilian police forces and military took the fight to the paid assassins of the narco-cartels.

“The Merida Initiative represents the collective effort of the U.S. and Mexican executive and legislative branches, which developed this initiative as representatives of the millions of citizens of Mexico and the United States who want to defeat organized crime and drug trafficking.

“Conceived of a mutual desire to work together to address this problem, the Merida Initiative will provide resources that Mexican law enforcement authorities identified as most critical to boost their efforts in the fight against these criminal organizations.

“The United States recognizes our shared responsibility for the problem of drug trafficking, and our obligation to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mexico in this fight. With the additional resources provided by the Merida Initiative, Mexico and the United States will build on our already successful security cooperation and shared efforts against narcotrafficking. I applaud Congress’s passage of this important program and look forward to working with the government of Mexico to implement it.”

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