U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond [August 16, 2010] [open pdf - 511KB]
From the Summary: "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 recent enactment of the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899/P.L. 111- 212), 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 has dedicated the vast majority of the funds--roughly $1.5 billion--to support programs in Mexico, with an emphasis on training and equipping Mexican military and police forces engaged in counterdrug efforts. Escalating drug trafficking-related violence in Mexico and the increasing control that Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have over the illicit drug market in the United States have focused congressional attention on the efficacy of U.S-Mexican efforts and related domestic initiatives in both countries. With funding for the original Mérida Initiative technically ending in FY2010 and new initiatives underway for Central America and the Caribbean, the Obama Administration proposed a new four-pillar strategy for U.S.-Mexican security cooperation in its FY2011 budget request. That strategy 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. The first two pillars largely build upon existing efforts, whereas pillars three and four broaden the scope of Mérida Initiative programs to include new efforts to facilitate 'secure flows' of people and goods through the U.S.-Mexico border and to improve conditions in violence-prone border cities. The Administration's FY2011 budget request includes $310 million for Mérida programs in Mexico."
CRS Report for Congress, R41349