Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, September 5, 2010

U.S. Withholding Aid To Mexico Over Human-Rights Abuses

By: Alexandra Olson in Mexico City and Matthew Lee in Washington, D.C
The Associated Press
The Obama administration is withholding $26 million in aid to Mexico, recommending that the government give more power to its human rights commission and crack down on abusive soldiers.

In a report released Friday, the State Department said the Mexican government, which is mired in a violent battle with powerful drug cartels, has met human rights requirements to receive $36 million in previously withheld funds that are part of a $1.4 billion Merida Initiative.

But the U.S. was going to withhold 15 percent of newly authorized funds until the Mexican government meets several requirements: enhancing authority of the National Human Rights Commission, limiting authority of military courts in cases involving abuse of civilians, and improving communication with human rights organizations in Mexico.

"We believe there has been progress, very significant progress, on human rights in Mexico, but as a policy decision – not a legal decision – we are going to wait on a portion of new funding because we think additional progress can be made," said Roberta Jacobson, a deputy assistant secretary for Mexico and Canada at the State Department.

The Mexican government said it is working to improve human rights and urged Washington to speed up implementation of the Merida Initiative.

"The State Department report establishes that the government of Mexico is carrying out actions to strengthen the observance of human rights," the Foreign Relations Department said in a statement. "Cooperation with the United States against transnational organized crime through the framework of the Merida Initiative is based on shared responsibility, mutual trust and respect for the jurisdiction of each country, not on unilateral plans for evaluating and conditions unacceptable to the government of Mexico."

Maureen Meyer, a Mexico expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, which promotes human rights and democracy in the region, said withholding funds sends the message "that you cannot fight crime with crime and you cannot fight drugs while tolerating abuses by your security forces."

The Merida Initiative was a 2008 commitment from the U.S. to help Mexico combat drug cartels. Under the rules, the State Department must certify that Mexico is banning torture, prosecuting law enforcement agents and soldiers who abuse civil rights before allocating all of the funds.

A State Department report sent to the Senate this week commends the Mexican government for cracking down on torture, improving transparency and listening to human rights groups' allegations that about military abuses.

But the report, which has not been publicly released, said the government needs to be more public and aggressive when investigating and prosecuting allegations of abuse by security forces.

Mexico has faced repeated criticism for alleged military abuses. This year, human rights officials accused soldiers of shooting two children and altering the crime scene to try to blame the deaths on drug cartel gunmen.

The army denies the allegations, and says the boys, ages 5 and 9, were killed in April when their family's vehicle was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between soldiers and gunmen in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

The scandal has renewed demands from human rights activists that civilian authorities, not the army, investigate human rights cases involving Mexico's military.

Because Merida spending lags more than a year behind allocations, Friday's decision will have minimal financial impact.

But Andrew Selee, director of the Washington D.C.-based Mexico Institute, said it does underscore concerns, both in Mexico and the U.S., about the lack of progress in fairly prosecuting public officials accused of committing human rights abuses.

"This has raised particular concern in the U.S. Congress, where there remains considerable support for Mexico's efforts against organized crime, but also some worries about the lack of progress in ensuring transparent investigations of alleged human rights abuses," said Selee.


  1. Continued pressure, continued progress.

    Good thing.

  2. So now the money from the Merida Initiative is being witheld for alleged "human rights abuses". Bullshit ! Screw The Americans and their $26 million ! Let them keep it. It's not worth it to grovel to them and kiss their Azzes. This is an attempt by the Americans to have control over sovereign nations internal affairs. ENHANCE THE AUTHORITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, IMPROVE COMMUNICATION WITH HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS IN MEXICO, LIMIT AUTHORITY OF MILITARY COURTS. GFY !! So called human rights organizations and NGO'S are nothing but CIA fronts. They owe Mexico the $1.4 billion Merida money and more since they are the reason this mess exists ! I say to Mexico if the Americans love their dope so much then legalize it and make a nice profit for yourself. Let the American junkies smoke, snort and inject themselves to death !!!!

  3. @3:51a.m.
    Were you high on dope when you posted that comment??

  4. Dear Anon on 9/5 1:25AM

    Take back your corrupt country and stop bitching about the USA. I wish the USA would not send .01 to your payola inspired system. Grow up and take your country back. I have absolutely no sympathy for you, your people, your government and your drug people. YOU have let this go on for hundreds of years. Blaming the drug addicts up north is not the answer. Take responsibility in your own country, fight for it and die for it, like Americans have done and will do forever for freedom.

  5. Hey 3:51 AM, you're an idiot. I wish the US would cut all ties from MX myself. MX brings nothing to the table but problems. It's MX fault that the US has the drug problem. Oh and don't forget, it's also MX fault that the US is overloaded with millions of freeloading illegal immigrants. I bet you live in the US yourself...hypocrite.

  6. @Anonymous 9:09 AM

    Yeah we know the US is all greatness concerning Human rights. But always vetos investigations by the UN that should be undertaken in places where they are currently waging war! Not to forget some atrocities that leaked to the media in Irak anyhow.

    I think both countries have their problems with Human rights. Being pretentious on the US side doesn't improve the situation though.
    Concerning the rest of your post - well sentences like: "it's MX fault that the US has the drug problem" make me assume that you are using the product too right now.

  7. Anonymous (September 5, 2010 at 9:09 AM):

    Don't ever blame Mexico, or any other country for that matter, for the drug problems that U.S. citizens inflict on themselves.

    No one is putting a gun to any one's head and forcing them to do drugs, in fact, if people in the U.S. didn't consume so much, there wouldn't be any market in Central and South America. Production would ultimately decrease, due to the lack of consumers.

    Think about that and stop doing drugs.

    As for the Mexican government, they need to stop being so passive, being idle will not solve their problems and the Mexican citizens deserve more action from their government.

  8. Guess where Paris Hiltons cocaine came from?

  9. Merida initiative is woefully inadequate.
    Funding assistance-training-intelligence to Mx and C. American in their fight against drug warfare.

    Problem is that the funding is 1/10 of what was allocated to Colombia.

    That aside, in the inititive 75M is slated towards human rights issues, strictly defines; 1. soldiers suspected of human rights issues face civil court in accordance w/ Mx and intl law

    2. training of forces in security & human rights.

    then provision allows for witholding in part of these allotments, solely, or cancelling the funds,(the 75M)

    I am no fan of Obama, and I think he may go down as the worse president in history, but on this subject he is using the initiative's provision correctly. Mexico AGREED to these provisions.

    CULPA: as for blame their is enough blame to go around for all of us. I know the BP rises when some ignorant fool posts incendiary comments against the US, but making comments as foolish back is ridiculous at best.

    most Mexicans do not feel that way, most Mexicans are scared shitless, and Most Mexicans welcome the help from the US.

  10. the 72 immigrants was the fault of the USA?....who puts a gun to the head of greedy mexican criminals to supply the drugs ...DON'T BLAME THE USA FOR YOUR PROBLEMS...DEAL WITH YOUR OWN PROBLEMS

  11. Obama catering to his liberal base,when can we get the job done without politicians,Irony the US has vetoed sanctions against Isreal by UN EVERY TIME concerning Human Rights violations Isreal Vs Palistians. So it goes with Politics. I am very proud of Mexicos WAR , I can not understand why the US has not shown more respect, Who does not agree success in MX will benefit all responsible citizens .

  12. Hmmmmm...

    Czech Republic,

    Na-ah, no way do they by drugs from over here, they get their drugs from...from...
    ah,...Stalin's mustache, yeah, that's where they get 'em.

  13. the 72 immigrants was the fault of the USA?....who puts a gun to the head of greedy mexican criminals to supply the drugs ...DON'T BLAME THE USA FOR YOUR PROBLEMS...DEAL WITH YOUR OWN PROBLEMS....

    hey inbred Teabager.
    who put the gun to the american to snort meth?

  14. I seriously doubt Valentina has been within a 100 miles of the border with all her inaccuracies,much less the other side. Mexico is to blame no morals, no shame. Having a badge and a gun in Mexico is seen as a bussines opportunity..


    and JR ES CORRECTO ...i agree.... any position of power in Mexico is the opportunity to abuse it question

  16. @ jr

    This is a serious question; why exactly are you bagging on Valentina? Give a list of inaccuracies just 3 or 4 whatever...I am trying to determine what you are speaking of. I find her intelligent, insightful, analytical. What am I missing?

  17. @10:26 is correct..

    While US drug use is down 50% since 1979 Mexico's has increased by 100% in 4 years.
    US is at 6% of population
    Mexico is at 5%

    Cartel members, especially low level are heavy drug users, addicts, it is the "hook". I often wondered if that was used initially to gain "courage" . Ever see the video of the narcoblockade where after setting up the blockade a bag of coke was handed off to everyone for a few snorts of courage.

  18. What an oxymoron involving two of the greatest morons!!

  19. this night i sat on the patio and watched the kids over in the park roll a joint ,,and then i could smell it when they lit it up...question where am i ?...answer a large city in nothern Mexico....MEXICO HAS DRUG USERS AS WELL AS THE USA...i have seen coke snorted in bars and dance halls , can smell the mota all around some places , especially at night....i can walk right down the calle and see the tienditas going full speed open all night ......STOP BLAMING IT ALL ON THE USA....oh yeah ...and don't forget good old Canada ,montreal, toronto and vancouver are all major consumers ... stop pointing the finger and look in the mirror

  20. Ah of course do some mexican's use drugs what did you expect? But where does the big cash come from, that's the question. And that's most certainly not from the wealthy Mexicans. Or do you honestly think the drug price in Mexico is the same is in the US? The big bucks are made north of the Rio yeah BLAME THE USA ON IT ALL...yeah I too know how to use caps lock!!

  21. i know exactly what the drug prices are in Mexico y i smell the ciriguaya wafting from the park... again this tarde....also i know the costs of transporting it across the border mitigate a large portion of the profits...while it is about ALL profit in Mexico...some Mexicans use drugs...some Americans use drugs ...i think you use drugs...or do you just hate don't think wealthy Mexicans toma un poca piedra? are funny , and now for your parte de favorita...STOP BLAMING THE USA FOR MEXICO'S PROBLEMS...andarle guey


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