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Newst Changes with the Merida initiative

By Lynn Prince

President Calderón met with U.S. President Bush in Merida, Mexico, in March 2007 to review issues affecting the two countries. Both countries issued a joint communique on March 14, 2007, recognizing the threat posed by organized crime and drug trafficking to both nations and the shared responsibility to address this threat.

Since the 2007 Summit in Merida, Mexico has taken bold and unprecedented steps to confront crime and violence. The U.S. set forth the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 signed by President Bush on June 30 providing $400 million to fund training, equipment and other assistance under the Merida Initiative to Mexico; and an initial installment of a multi-year, $1.4 billion program of support.

As of February 10, 2009, the United States and Belize have also implemented the Merida Initiative providing $1,008,000 in funding for the first year to the Belizean government to combat crime.

February 5, 2009, also marked the implementation between Guatemala and the U.S. of the Merida Initiative granting $3,650,500 to combat crime in that country.

Ongoing monitoring of the programs and activities will be conducted by each government.
Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman

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