Office of the Spokesman
December 17, 2008
Inaugural Meeting of the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will lead the U.S. delegation to the inaugural meeting of the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group in Washington, D.C. on December 19. Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa will lead the Mexican delegation. Released on December 17, 2008
The Group will discuss accomplishments and challenges in joint U.S. and Mexican efforts to combat trafficking in narcotics, weapons, illegal bulk cash, and other transnational criminal activities in both countries. The Merida Initiative gives further impetus to an already-robust cooperative security partnership between the United States and Mexico. It is designed to protect the well-being of both countries’ citizens by more effectively targeting transnational criminal organizations, which spread illicit drugs, inflict violence and damage societies.
The U.S. delegation will include Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Paul A. Schneider, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy John P. Walters, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio O. Garza and other senior government officials.
The Mexican delegation will include Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, Under Secretary for National Defense General Francisco Armando Meza Castro, Undersecretary of the Navy Admiral Raul Santos Galvan Villanueva, Undersecretary for Prevention, Participation and Human Rights in the Ministry of Public Security Facundo Rosas, Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan and high-level Mexican government representatives.