08.05.09

Comments On State Department And Foreign Operations On The Provisions In Law That He Authored Concerning The Merida Initiative

“All Americans are sympathetic to the challenges faced by the Mexican Government and all of us want them to be successful.
 
“The law withholds 15 percent of the Merida funds until the Secretary of State reports to Congress that the Mexican Government is meeting four requirements, including prosecuting military and police officers who violate human rights.  The Congress provides 85 percent of the aid without conditions, but there needs to be evidence that the military is accountable to the rule of law.  Those requirements have not been met, so it is premature to send the report to Congress.  We had good faith discussions with Mexican and U.S. officials in reaching these requirements in the law, and I hope we can continue in that spirit.
 
“I continue to support the goals of the Merida Initiative, but the military strategy alone is not a solution in the long term nor is it yet clear what it can achieve in the short term.  Mexico needs effective police forces and a justice system that works.  And as long as the demand for drugs in the United States and the flow of guns to Mexico continue at these levels, it will be difficult to neutralize the cartels.”

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