U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Merida Initiative and Beyond [February 16, 2011] [open pdf - 487KB]
"In recent years, U.S.-Mexican security cooperation has increased significantly, largely as a result of the development and implementation of the Mérida Initiative, a counterdrug and anticrime assistance package for Mexico and Central America that was first proposed in October 2007. With the enactment of the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-212) in July 2010, Congress has provided almost $1.8 billion for the Mérida Initiative. Congress provided $248 million of that funding to Central America and included an additional $42 million for Caribbean countries. However, Congress dedicated the vast majority of the funds--roughly $1.5 billion--to support programs in Mexico, with an early emphasis on training and equipping Mexican military and police forces engaged in counterdrug efforts. Escalating drug trafficking-related violence in Mexico has focused congressional attention on the efficacy of U.S-Mexican efforts. Reducing violence associated with organized crime (including drug trafficking), which, by Mexican government estimates, has resulted in more than 34,500 deaths since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, has remained a focus of the Mérida Initiative. With funding for the original Mérida Initiative technically ending in FY2010 and new initiatives underway for Central America and the Caribbean, the Obama Administration worked with the Mexican government to develop a new four-pillar strategy for U.S.-Mexican security cooperation. That strategy, outlined in the FY2011 budget request, focuses on (1) disrupting organized criminal groups; (2) institutionalizing the rule of law; (3) building a 21st century border; and (4) building strong and resilient communities."
CRS Report for Congress, R41349