budget for the Merida Initiative now only represents the equivalent of what the
U.S. spends in Iraq in a single day. … Obama has already failed to grasp
the seriousness of the problem once. The United States must understand that its
level of integration with Mexico shouldn't be measured in miles - but in
Until a few days ago, Mexico
wasn't so important to the United States. Only after the assassinations of two
of its officials on Mexican soil did it understand the gravity of the violence
at its door. It remains to be seen if this time, words will become deeds.
Let us recall the recent
past. The initial diplomatic actions and declarations of Barack Obama about
relations with Mexico generated many expectations. [President] Felipe Calderon
was the first [head of state] to be received by the then President-elect. A few
months after taking office, the Democrat visited Mexico after a “mea culpa” by
his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. For the first time in history, the
people of the United States accepted, without restriction, their enormous
responsibility for drug consumption and arms trafficking. But subsequent
actions didn't reflect this supposed concern. The budget for the Merida Initiative was
reduced by so much that it now only represents the equivalent of what the U.S.
spends in Iraq in a single day. Moreover, there hasn't been a single change in
policy designed to prevent addiction among the U.S. population, nor has
anything changed with regard to arms trafficking, except for a bill proposed by
a small number of U.S. lawmakers in favor of closing down the trade in black
market weapons. Nothing more.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton
returned to Mexico. Not only to give a boost to Felipe Calderon, but to agree
on concrete actions that encompass a diagnosis of drug use in both territories,
cooperative investment in security, better intelligence on money laundering and
financial crime, dismantling cartels, social investment in the border cities of
Tijuana-San Diego and Ciudad Juarez-El Paso, and the strengthening of
institutions in these cities. At least this time there are commitments that can
It remains to be seen if, in
the short term, President Barack Obama's personal ignorance about Mexico
will have an impact on the agreement. He has already failed to grasp the
seriousness of the problem once.
The United States must
understand that its level of integration with Mexico shouldn't be measured in miles
- but in time. Our commercial, cultural and even blood ties grow deeper every
day - but convergence cannot mean fusion. The limit is the presence of foreign
troops and military bases on Mexican soil. There are many unresolved issues
regarding mutual cooperation, and much more needs to be done before one can even
raise the possibility of asking for that kind of help.
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