from welfarism to cooperation with the US in combating cross-border crime

The Mexican government is going through a change in its relationship with the United States, going from a limited and asymmetric assistance cooperation to an integral one between equals, says the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard.

In an interview with THE UNIVERSAL, the Chancellor assures that today an alliance of respect is being built in which both governments accept a shared responsibility to solve common problems.

Both countries, it highlights, agreed to leave the Merida Initiative behind and make it the Bicentennial understanding, with which security will be addressed, but with new approaches in which the priority is the protection of the population.

Mexico and the United States agreed to walk through a new stage in the bilateral relationship, says the head of our country’s foreign policy.

Why is it important to have organized this High Level Security Dialogue?

—First, the Merida Initiative was left behind. Today we start with the Bicentennial understanding. 200 years after the beginning of relations between Mexico and United States, both governments agree on a new vision on shared issues.

From now on, the relationship will be characterized by a comprehensive approach to safety, health and safe communities issues.

Second – very important – is that, for the first time, there is an interest in building a relationship in which Mexico’s priorities are at the same level as those of the United States.

What are the priorities for our country? Reduce the violence and homicides in Mexico, give them opportunities to development and youth work and address the causes of problems on both sides of the border.

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This is a significant change because previous strategies were only focused on capturing drug lords.

With the Bicentennial Understanding we will work to prevent addictions and fight all the causes that lead young people to join organized crime.

In short, we are moving from a relationship, with limited and asymmetric cooperation, to an integral cooperation between equals. We are building an alliance of respect, in which both governments accept a shared responsibility to solve the problems that plague us.

It will no longer be, as it was before, a welfare cooperation. An example of this is that, from this new understanding, [ambos países] we will exchange Financial intelligence.

For the first time, we will cooperate in tracing weapons, an essential action to reduce violence in the short term.

With this, we will be able to achieve the three great objectives of both countries: protect our people, prevent crime in the border area and dismantle criminal networks.

What is the way forward with this new cooperative relationship in security?

—An annual plan will be presented on December 1 to project the achievements of 2022.

Before the end of January 2022, we will also present the work plan for the next three years.

In short: the Merida Initiative is left behind. This is the beginning of a new stage in the bilateral relationship, on security issues, with the United States.

Read also: The Mexico-US Bicentennial Understanding

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