U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond [May 7, 2015] [open pdf - 517KB]
"Violence perpetrated by a range of criminal groups continues to threaten citizen security and governance in some parts of Mexico, a country with which the United States shares a nearly 2,000-mile border and more than $500 billion in annual trade. Although organized crime-related violence in Mexico has generally declined since 2011, analysts estimate that it may have claimed more than 80,000 lives between December 2006 and December 2014. Recent cases--particularly the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero, Mexico in September 2014--have drawn attention to the problems of corruption and impunity for human rights abuses in Mexico. Supporting Mexico's efforts to reform its criminal justice system is widely regarded as crucial for combating criminality and better protecting citizen security in the country. U.S. support for those efforts has increased significantly as a result of the development and implementation of the Mérida Initiative, a bilateral partnership launched in 2007 for which Congress has appropriated some $2.5 billion. U.S. assistance focuses on (1) disrupting organized criminal groups, (2) institutionalizing the rule of law, (3) creating a 21st century border, and (4) building strong and resilient communities."
CRS Report for Congress, R41349