Office of the Spokesman
October 17, 2008
Daily Press Briefing - October 17
Merida Initiative: Update on Spending Plan (Taken Question)
Question: When will the U.S. begin to fund the Merida Initiative? What is the status of the initiative?Released on October 17, 2008
Answer: The Department of State is currently negotiating a Letter of Agreement with the Government of Mexico. Once we have signed that agreement, we will move forward with the Initiative’s programs. We want to move as expeditiously as possible.
The United States and Mexico have a decades-long partnership in counternarcotics efforts. Our partnership has been especially strong and cooperative under the Calderon administration. The Merida Initiative will serve as a catalyst for a new era of joint U.S.-Mexico law enforcement action.
Our objectives of the initiative are to break the power and impunity of criminal organizations; strengthen border, air, and maritime controls; improve the capacity of justice systems in the region; curtail gang activity; and reduce the demand for drugs throughout the region.