The Merida Initiative is a multi-year security agreement between the governments of the United States, Mexico, the nations of Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to combat violence and organized crime. The U.S. Congress has appropriated $1.6 billion since the program began in 2008.
The United States Department of State's website describes the Merida Initiative as follows:
"The Merida Initiative is an unprecedented partnership between the United States and Mexico to fight organized crime and associated violence while furthering respect for human rights and the rule of law." Merida aims to "disrupt organized criminal groups, strengthen institutions, build a twenty-first century border, and build strong and resilient communities."