Andrés Manuel López Obrador will cancel the Merida Initiative that Felipe Calderón signed in 2008 with the United States Government to combat organized crime through the use of technology and military support to Mexico.
Ebrard explained that the “Merida Initiative“ is a program created in the United States and approved by the Congress of that country to provide support to Mexico, but warned that this plan did not represent a binational agreement, so there are no commitments in this regard.
The government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not used the “Merida Initiative” to acquire weapons or equipment, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón assured today.
“Not one helicopter” has been requested from the United States as part of the collaboration scheme, he said.
The Secretary of Foreign Relations explained that the so-called “Merida Initiative” is a program created in the United States and approved by the Congress of that country to provide support to Mexico, but warned that this plan did not represent a binational agreement so there are no commitments.
Meanwhile, on the operation of DEA agents, he maintained that it is regulated in the agreements that imply compliance with Mexican laws, restriction to carry weapons, and prohibition of impersonating Mexican security corporations.
AMLO leaves the Merida Initiative in the past; wants to redirect US money
President AMLO affirmed that he does not want more helicopter gunships from the Merida Initiative, but rather production and work for Mexico and Central America.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the Merida Initiative will disappear and the resources received from the United States in this way will be reoriented for productive development and job creation.
“We don’t want there to be cooperation for the use of force, we want there to be cooperation for development, we don’t want the so-called Merida Initiative,” he said in his morning press conference.
“We do not want helicopter gunships, we do not want resources for other types of military support, what we want is production and work,” he emphasized at the National Palace.
The president reported that the proposal being made is to allocate those resources to the development plan for the Southeast and the Central American countries.
He said that to finance the National Guard there is another way to do it, without the resources of the Merida Initiative and indicated that progress is being made with the United States so that those resources are redirected.
“Remember that there was an offer (from the US government) that they were going to invest 4,000 million dollars in the country and 5,000 million dollars in the countries of Central America, I took note, that is what we want more than what we are allocating to development, “he said.
That, he stressed, is the way out of the crisis due to migration, cooperation for development: “no cooperation for the use of force, this has more to do with creating jobs than with having military planes or helicopter gunships, it is an approach, it is another thing, and they are already understanding this approach ”.
The federal Executive also clarified that the elements of the National Guard will not be trained by the neighboring country to the north, because the Mexican Army has schools for their training.
“It is a matter of taking care that human rights are not violated in public security tasks” and that there is the moderate use of force, for which the Army and Navy have a plan.
He stated that if the President of the United States, Donald Trump , agrees to allocate the resources of the Merida Plan to Central America , he will help curb migration, since the inhabitants of the Mexican southeast and the Central American countries will not be forced to leave their places of origin.
The Mérida Initiative has been severely criticized by different human rights organizations and international organizations specialized in the matter.
People migrate out of necessity
On the other hand, López Obrador pointed out that next week he will present the plan to address the migratory phenomenon with regional development projects in the Mexican southeast and the Central American countries.
This project was advised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), with a team headed by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
As on other occasions, the president insisted that people migrate out of necessity, due to lack of opportunities, or due to insecurity, which is why he will also provide them with protection when they cross through highly dangerous areas.
“We think that integration, in order for them to have job opportunities, has to take place in the region, but we are going to look for mechanisms to integrate them without taking away their right to seek asylum, to go to the United States, but give integration options to productive activity in the region ”.