The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador will demand that the United States stop the arms trade as the central premise of a security agreement. “I no longer want you to give me weapons or helicopters,” the Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, summed up this Tuesday on the eve of the meeting between the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, convened for Friday . The meeting, which closes the first cycle of exploratory conversations between teams from the two Administrations, has the purpose of checking the conditions for an understanding. The objective is, in essence, to reduce violence on both sides of the border, but especially in Mexico, which is already facing a new crisis due to the confrontation between cartels. A week ago, the authorities located in the Sierra de Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas), a handful of kilometers from Texas, an extermination center with clandestine crematoria.
“Don’t send me weapons, please … What we want is for no more weapons to come, not for more to come. 70% of the weapons, as we know, come from there ”, insisted Ebrard in conversation with the media at the end of the presentation of the new electronic passport. The Chancellor pursues a reciprocal relationship with the United States not only in the documents signed, but also in practice. “An understanding that is not so asymmetrical,” he said. “It sounds theoretical, but when it was the Mérida Initiative, Mexico went and knocked on the door and said: ‘Hey, please help me, because I need you to help me, that you save me, that you do me, that you lend me … ‘. And that puts you at a disadvantage, doesn’t it? ”, Has considered the Secretary of Foreign Relations in reference to the previous security plan, agreed under the mandate of George W. Bush (2001-2009).
The foundations of the new collaboration framework must have, for Mexico, two bases. In the first place, mutual respect, which in other words is a warning related to Morena’s political project and the so-called fourth transformation: that is, the vindication of national sovereignty. And secondly, attention to the priorities of the two countries. The Mexican government brought to the negotiating table 10 priorities, among them, the reduction of homicides, the control of arms trafficking, legal assistance or extraditions. For Ebrard, for example, the execution of these court orders must have “the same speed from here to there as from there to here, which is not the case right now.”
Blinken was invited to the events of the Bicentennial of Independence on September 27, although he did not finally travel to Mexico City. It will do so this week, accompanied by the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, and the United States Attorney General, Merrick B. Garland, who will meet with his Mexican counterpart, Alejandro Gertz. In January, when Joe Biden took office in the White House, López Obrador asked his Cabinet to explore a new security plan to put the Mérida initiative behind him. After the so-called high-level economic dialogue, a priority for both countries, they have begun to talk about security.
That program had millionaire resources and began at the end of the George W. Bush Administration, more than a decade ago. But that cooperation plan has not worked despite including aid of 3,000 million dollars. It failed or, in any case, it was not enough to sustain the strategy to fight drug trafficking. “The Merida Initiative is dead. It does not work ”, the Secretary of Foreign Relations recently affirmed to the newspaper The Washington Post. “Now we are in another era.” Mexican authorities are now looking for a new approach with Biden. Security challenges are also being addressed again, after almost five years of disinterest on the part of Washington. Former President Donald Trump was never very interested in the fight against drug trafficking and the bilateral relationship with Mexico. In the first months of the Democratic president another provision has been perceived. From Blinken to Juan González, White House envoy for Latin America, various senior officials have made the reduction of arms and narcotics trafficking a priority on several occasions. It remains, however, to formalize the will in an agreement.
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