Plan Mexico Passed

by Kristin Bricker – May 22, 2008

It’s official: Congress has approved Plan Mexico.

The House of Representatives approved the Merida Initiative, also known as Plan Mexico, last week by a vote of 256-166. Excelsior reports that 244 Democrats and 32 Republicans voted for the bill and 7 democrats and 159 Republicans voted against it. The Senate approved a slightly different version today, although the specifics of the Senate version are still unavailable.

While Pres. George Bush requested $1.4 billion for Plan Mexico over a period of three years, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) proposed a bill that would authorize up to $1.6 billion. Since Plan Mexico passed, legislative analysts say it’s unclear what will come of Berman’s archaic authorization bill, which is currently languishing in the House.

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Congress Holds 3rd Hearing on Mexico Foreign Policy Scheme

Opposition growing to Bush’s Proposed “Merida Initiative”

Friends of Brad Will write: Opposition to the President’s ebbing “Merida Initiative”, a scheme to give $1.4 Billion in military aid to Mexico’s police and military forces implicated in widespread human rights violations, has led to an extraordinary 3rd oversight hearing by Congress. On May 1st, the AFL-CIO, the powerful U.S. parent union, sent letters detailing their opposition to the Merida Initiative to Democratic Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Congressman Delahunt Chair of a subcommittee on human rights, urging the Democratic Congress members to reject the Bush Administration’s request for military aid to Mexico. Yet critics questioned the witnesses Congress has called to testify before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere as being uncritical boosters or vaguely indicating support under a pretense of concern and questions. Not a single opponent of the Merida Initiative has been called to testify.

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SPP Summit New Orleans 2008

Phil writes: April 21st, 2008, was the first day of the Security and Prosperity Partnership Summit, in which the presidents of Mexico and the United States, and the prime minister of Canada met to discuss security and trade, as well as the neoliberal and militaristic integration of North America. In protest, the local community organizers of New Orleans held the People’s Summit, in which visiting activists met with local organizers to discuss the history of racism, oppression and capitalism in North America and how to resist those things now and into the future.

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Protest the Security and Prosperity Partnership in New Orleans April 21st

There will be several days worth of events surrounding the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) meeting in New Orleans, taking place April 21st and 22nd.

The SPP is a series of meetings between the heads of state of Mexico, the United States, and Canada and security officials and CEOs from the 3 nations to strengthen free trade regulations and discuss integrating security measures between the 3 nations. Some have referred to the SPP as “NAFTA on steroids.”

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The U.S. $1.4 billion military package to Mexico will soon be debated in Congress!

Now is the time for action!

“The Merida Initiative is characterized by a lack of a human rights perspective, a human security approach that mistakes the security of states for the security of human beings…It is time for the international community to stop supporting short-sighted policies such as this one.”
Miguel Agustín Pro Juarez Human Rights Center

ON October 22, President Bush submitted the “Merida Initiative”, popularly known as Plan Mexico, to Congress. The initiative would destine $1.4 billion dollars to Mexico and Central America over a three year period, with the stated purpose of fighting drug trafficking and organized crime. The requested $500 million of funding to Mexico for 2008 is dominated by $206 million worth of military aircraft and $133 million of drug interdiction equipment and training. Most of these resources will go to the Mexican Armed Forces and police forces.

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Friends of Brad Will Release Secret Documents of Proposed US/Mexican Military Aid

Murdered Journalist Network Denounces Military Reward for Impunity

The international network demanding accountability for the murder of US journalist Brad Will released secret documents detailing proposed military support for Mexican security forces implicated in murder, torture and continuing arbitrary detentions.

“Finally we were able to obtain these documents, which even Members of Congress have yet to see. We hope that by releasing them to the public we will be able to better make our case for withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military subsidies to the Mexican military. The murderers of Brad and many others in Oaxaca and Atenco and Chiapas must be brought to justice if U.S. support for human rights is to mean anything.” said Harry Bubbins, of Friends of Brad Will. Over 70% of the proposed $1.5 billion would entail lethal aid analysts revealed.

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