Insight Online News
Mexico City, Oct 9 : A new joint security plan between the United States and Mexico was discussed on Friday, which was described by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as the beginning of a “new chapter” in security cooperation between the two countries.
At the conclusion of the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue in Mexico City, representatives agreed to end the Merida Initiative and launch a new alliance dubbed the Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities.
The central difference between the two programs, explained Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard, is that the Merida Initiative was only focused on capturing major drug lords in Mexico with U.S. backing, while the new one is “more complex.”
“Today we have a common strategy that is more complex,” Ebrard said at a press conference after the meeting, adding there will be more focus on reducing overall addiction rates and generating job opportunities for youth.
The bilateral dialogue ended with a joint declaration, which covered issues including public health protection, prevention of cross-border crime, reducing arms trafficking, as well as the dismantling of criminal networks.
At the press conference, Blinken acknowledged that Mexico and the United States face a “complex” security situation, with several challenges ahead in the “new chapter.”
According to experts, drug consumption, violence and trafficking increased in both Mexico and the United States during the years of the Merida Initiative.