Merida Initiative In October 2007, the governments of the United States and Mexico announced our decision to expand and deepen our cooperation to maximize the effectiveness of our efforts to confront transnational organized crime, in the interest of security and the well-being of citizens of both nations. To achieve this goal, we developed the Merida Initiative, a bilateral cooperation framework based on the principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust, and full respect for the sovereignty of each country U.S. Department of State; “Joint Statement of the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group on Bilateral Cooperation Against Transnational Criminal Organizations”: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/ 197908.htm http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/ 197908.htm
Merida Initiative: Myth vs. Fact Fact: The Merida Initiative will directly support Mexican […] plans to strengthen human rights […] Conduct ethics and human rights training at law enforcement academies […] U.S. Department of State; “Merida Initiative: Myth vs. fact”: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/fs/122395.htmhttp://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/fs/122395.htm
What´s happening in Mexico? With the help of the Merida Initiative, militarization has increased in Mexico. The anti-drug strategy is designed primarily on an offensive line that far from attacking the root problem has only increased levels of violence, because Merida initiative focuses on the transfer of military equipment, training and technical assistance to Mexico. Mexico’s last president continued to ignore evidence of widespread human rights violations, such as arbitrary detentions, torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, committed by security and police forces. During his six-year presidency, which ended in December 2012, more than 60,000 people were killed and 150,000 displaced as a result of drug-related violence. (Amnesty International)
2008 Human rights US 20,000,000 2009 Human rightsUS 2,000,000 2010 Human rightsUS 8,000,000 March 2012 “The U.S. Congress has appropriated $1.6 billion since the Merida Initiative began in Fiscal Year 2008” 1 “As of November 2012, some $1.1 billion worth of assistance had been provided to Mexico. That total includes roughly $873.7 million in equipment and $146.0 million worth of training.” 2 1 http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rls/fs/2012/187119.htm http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rls/fs/2012/187119.htm 2 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Travel Warning: Mexico, November 20, 2012, available at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5815.html U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond Congressional Research Servicehttp://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5815.html
Six UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters were delivered to the Federal Police for $127.6 million. These aircraft have proven invaluable to the Federal Police in confronting criminal organizations who would otherwise have used the advantage of difficult and remote terrain to operate with impunity. Two UH-60M Black Hawk used against protester at september 13, 2013
In particular, the Initiative […] includes a master’s program for federal police and a range of training videos and manuals focused on human rights, […] (The Merida Initiative- Major Deliveries to November 30, 2012)
FACTS: Members of the army, navy and the federal, state and municipal police were responsible for widespread and grave human rights violations in the context of anti-crime operations and when operating in collusion with criminal gangs. The National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) received 1,921 complaints against the armed forces and 802 against the Federal Police. […] There was no publicly available information on police prosecuted and convicted for human rights violations.
The Initiative has also supported the legislative framework for protection, including assistance on drafting laws passed in 2012 to protect journalists and human rights defenders ; federalize crimes against journalists and implementing legislation to carry them out and develop sustainable mechanisms for protection and corresponding protocols. (The Merida Initiative- Major Deliveries to November 30, 2012)
Myth The U.S. Government takes seriously any and all allegations of human rights violations. Respect for human rights is a key component of our joint efforts to promote a culture of lawfulness and strengthen institutions and the rule of law in Mexico. U.S. Department of State; “Migrant Human Rights in Mexico and the Merida Initiative (Taken Question)” http://www.state.gov/r/pa/pr s/ps/2011/12/178440.htm http://www.state.gov/r/pa/pr s/ps/2011/12/178440.htm
Fact In August , despite the failure of Mexican authorities to meet human rights conditions set by the US Congress as part of the Merida Initiative – a regional security co-operation agreement – the US State Department recommended that Congress release the 15% of funds subject to the conditions.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 The UN and NGOs reported continued harassment of human rights defenders, including by state and municipal authorities. The CNDH received 51 complaints of aggression against human rights activists and three requests for protection. A study conducted by the NGOs Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders and Comite Cerezo Mexico documented 326 cases of human rights violations against human rights defenders between 2008 and 2011, 118 in 2011, and 47 in the first trimester of 2012, demonstrating an increase in threats. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2012&dlid=204464#w rapper http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2012&dlid=204464#w rapper
Aggression against human right defenders in Mexico in one year June 2012 - May 2013 350 Arbitrary detentions 124 Agressions against Human Right Defenders 14 Forced disappearances 11 Extrajudicial executions 499 Human rights violations
What we expect in the future The centerpiece of PRI's 2012 campaign strategy was its opposition to Calderón's five year old war against the drug cartels, which it said has been a dismal failure and a disastrous mistake. "In the War Against Narcotics Trafficking,” Peña Nieto says, “There won't be any big changes," and it confirms that "the new strategy is just an 'adjustment' of what's already been done." Calderón PAN Peña Nieto PRI
About Comité Cerezo México We document human rights violations committed for political reasons in Mexico We support victims of human rights violations in the pursuit of justice, truth, memory and compensation for damage We carry out two human rights courses per year to teach social activists the tools to defend their human rights, in the pursuit of justice, memory, truth and reparation of damage We are a volunteer organization, and we run a coffee stand to support our work.
What you can do to support Comité Cerezo International response to Urgent Action alerts to protect human rights defenders Political support to hold military and police forces accountable for human rights violations International solidarity delegations to Mexico
Take a photo of this presentation and tweet or FB “Freedom to political prisoners in Mexico.” “We say NO to militarization in Mexico.” “Hello Mexican human rights defenders. Keep up your good work.” “Stop sending arms and military equipment to Mexico.” @comitecerezo FB / CerezoDH