U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond [January 15, 2016] [open pdf - 917KB]
"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 $530 billion in annual trade. Although organized crime-related violence in Mexico generally declined since 2011, analysts estimate that it may have claimed more than 100,000 lives since December 2006. High-profile cases-particularly the enforced 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 appropriated nearly $2.5 billion from FY2008 to FY2015. U.S. assistance to Mexico 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. Newer areas of focus have involved bolstering security along Mexico's southern border and addressing drug production in Mexico. As of November 2015, more than $1.5 billion of Mérida Initiative assistance had been delivered."
CRS Report for Congress, R41349
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html