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Merida Initiative

The Merida Initiative is a security cooperative strategy between the United States, Mexico and the Countries of Central America aimed at combating the threats of drug trafficking, transnational crime and money laundering. The Initiative includes providing technical expertise and assistance to Mexico for police professionalization, judicial and prison reform, information technology enhancement, and infrastructure development and border security, among others.

On March 23, 2010, following the meeting of the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group on Bilateral Cooperation Against Transnational Organized Crime, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa announced a consolidated strategic vision building on existing bilateral actions and advancing new opportunities on four strategic areas. These included a) the disrupting of the capacity of transnational criminal organizations; b) strengthening public institutions responsible for combating organized crime; c) development of a secure and competitive border for the 21st century; and d) building strong and resilient border communities.

The U.S. – Mexico State Alliance Partnership, through Merida Initiative funds provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), facilitates binational exchanges and activities among state attorneys general of Mexico and the United States. This includes policy exchanges, and investigative and prosecutorial capacity training seminars organized through the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), the National Association of State Attorneys General (NAAG), and Mexico’s National Conference of Attorneys General (CNPJ). Moreover, the Alliance Partnership provides opportunities for strategic exchanges among U.S. – Mexico border attorneys general and the Border Security Work Table of the Border Governors Conference, which is comprised of the public safety commissioners and ministers from the 10 U.S. – Mexico border states.