Mexico

Ask CFR Experts

Is it part of the U.S. anti-drug policy to sell weapons to Mexico to combat drug cartels?

Asked by Zub Merch

Under the security cooperation agreement called the Merida Initiative, the United States provides military and law enforcement assistance to the Mexican government in support of efforts to combat drug cartels and organized crime. The United States and Mexico jointly developed this agreement in response to a substantial increase in drug-related criminal activity and violence on both sides of the border.

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See more in Mexico; United States; Drug Trafficking and Control

Audio

Media Conference Call: Jorge Castañeda and Shannon O'Neil on Nieto and U.S.-Mexico Relations

Speakers: Jorge G. Castañeda and Shannon K. O'Neil
Presider: Bernard Gwertzman

Listen to CFR Senior Fellow Shannon K. O'Neil and former foreign minister of Mexico Jorge G. Castañeda discuss President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and the future of U.S.-Mexico relations.

In an op-ed that appeared this week in USA Today, O'Neil argued that the main obstacle to better relations between the two countries is Americans' perceptions of Mexico and its people:

"In Americans' psyches, drugs dominate. When advertising firm GSD&M and Vianovo strategic consultants asked Americans to come up with three words that describe Mexico, nearly every other person answered 'drugs,' followed by 'poor' and 'unsafe.' Other questions reveal Americans see Mexico as corrupt, unstable and violent, more problem than partner. Americans had more favorable views of Greece, El Salvador and Russia."

Read O'Neil's USA Today op-ed "Mexico Isn't a Gangland Gunbattle."

In the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs, Castañeda and historian Héctor Aguilar Camín claim that there is a political mandate in Mexico that calls for less corruption, greater rule of law, and improved economic justice:

"Mexicans' clamor for prosperity is no longer negotiable, and today, the country is less than a generation away from becoming the full-fledged middle-class society it aspires to be. But only if it gets to work now."

Read Camín and Castañeda's essay "Mexico's Age of Agreement."

See more in Presidents and Chiefs of State; Mexico

Audio

Beyond NAFTA: Raising Cross-Border Competitiveness (Audio)

Speakers: Jorge Mariscal, Shannon O'Neil, and Juan E. Pardinas
Presider: Ana Paula Ordorica

Experts forecast the developments of U.S.-Mexico relations as a result of the new U.S. Congress,  the need for Mexico to increase foreign direct investment in the face of investor insecurity caused by violence and organized crime.

This session was part of a CFR symposium,200 Years of U.S.-Mexico Relations: Challenges for the 21st Century,which was made possible through generous support from the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative.

See more in Mexico; United States; Competitiveness; Trade

Audio

The Future of Bilateral Security Cooperation (Audio)

Speakers: Jorge Chabat, Alfredo Corchado, and Frances Fragos Townsend
Presider: Garrick Utley

Experts detail the effects of the increasing violence in Mexico and the resulting spillover into the United States; the tools needed for Mexico to combat this violence; and the need for leadership from the private industry.

This session was part of a CFR symposium,200 Years of U.S.-Mexico Relations: Challenges for the 21st Century,which was made possible through generous support from the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative.

See more in Mexico; United States

Audio

U.S.-Mexico Relations Today (Audio)

Speakers: Carlos B. Pascual and Arturo Sarukhan
Presider: Ray Suarez

Ambassadors Carlos Pascual and Arturo Sarukhan discuss U.S.-Mexico economic and political relations, immigration policies, and the need to overcome negative media portrayals of Mexico.

This session was part of a CFR symposium,200 Years of U.S.-Mexico Relations: Challenges for the 21st Century,which was made possible through generous support from the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative.

See more in Mexico; United States