Hillary Clinton Mexico visit: US and Mexico shift drug war approach
During the high-level Hillary Clinton Mexico visit Tuesday, the Secretary of State endorsed a new drug war strategy, which includes a more targeted focus on community-building.
The promise of broader drug-war support from the US as Mexico battles deadly drug traffickers was welcome in Mexico among those who support their president’s tough stance against organized crime but worry that his military strategy alone is not working.Skip to next paragraph
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a high-level meeting in Mexico Tuesday, spoke of a new strategy under the Merida Initiative, the $1.4 billion aid package to help Mexico and Central America fight the scourge of organized crime, which includes a more targeted focus on community-building.
“They are realizing that, to fight this drug problem, it is not something you can leave to the military [alone],” says Analicia Ruiz, a professor of international relations at Anahuac University in Mexico City. “They are now looking at it from a broad perspective … it is much more than just a problem with security; it’s a problem within society.”
Mrs. Clinton, who was in Mexico with, among others, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, laid out plans that span beyond access to military hardware.
The four-pronged strategy includes disrupting the criminal organizations, strengthening institutions, building a border that is safe but productive, and boosting communities so they can resist the power of drug traffickers.
“We are expanding the Merida Initiative beyond what it was traditionally considered to be, because it is not just about security. Yes, that is paramount, but it is also about institution-building,” Clinton said after meetings Tuesday. “It is about reaching out to and including communities and civil society, and working together to spur social and economic development.”