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Merida Initiative: Insight Into U.S. Mexico Relations

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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In 2007, the United States and Mexico agreed to a bilateral anti-drug policy known as Mrida Initiative with the intent of disrupting organized crime and drug trafficking in Mexico. The initiative has persisted through multiple administrations on both sides of the border and received various scholarly criticisms for its oversimplification of the problem. Did funding and allocation of resources of the Mrida Initiative address the underlying issues that contributed to the drug trade in Mexico Analyzing the historical foundations that supported the rise of organized crime in Mexico, combined with the factors that drive the drug trade, reveals an anti-drug policy focused on military operations and not on addressing the factors set forth in the initiative. This thesis exposes the underlying issues and analyzes allocation of resources to pinpoint where the focus is, and where it should be placed. This thesis concludes that allocation of resources are placed on security operations when they would be better suited on training the judicial branch in Mexico, improving the border, and improving the community to provide opportunities outside organized crime. Furthermore, that the United States has steps to take to fulfill its shared responsibility.

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