On June 30, 2008, President Bush signed legislation approving funding for the first year of the Merida Initiative.
June 30, 2008: President George W. Bush delivers a brief statement at the White House after signing legislation. Standing with him are (from left) Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of Veteran Affairs James Peake, and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy John P. Walters.
This multi-year program demonstrates the United States' commitment to work in partnership with governments in Mexico, the nations of Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti to confront criminal organizations whose illicit actions undermine public safety, erode the rule of law, and threaten the national security of the United States.
The Merida Initiative will provide equipment and training in support of law enforcement operations and technical assistance to promote the long-term reform, oversight and professionalization of our partners’ security agencies. In 2008, Congress approved an initial $400 million for Mexico and $65 million for Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
|U.S. and Mexico Reaffirm Commitment to Merida Initiative|
Secretary Rice (Dec. 19): "In Merida, the United States and Mexico have reaffirmed a commitment to enhanced partnership, cooperation, training, assistance, information sharing, built on the premise that we have a shared responsibility to confront these criminals and protect our citizens, and that success requires increased cooperation." Full Text | Joint Statement