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Monday, October 24, 2016

Merida Initiative Police Professionalization Efforts Highlighted 

By U.S. Mission to Mexico (U.S. Embassy-Mexico) 

Mexico City, October 18, 2016 – Last weekend, U.S. Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and representatives from INL Mexico attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in San Diego.  At the conference, Assistant Secretary Brownfield met with National Security Commissioner Renato Sales to discuss ongoing law enforcement capacity-building efforts through the Merida Initiative and our continued bilateral cooperation on security issues.  Assistant Secretary Brownfield welcomed Commissioner Sales’ full support for achieving international standards in Mexican security institutions under the Merida Initiative.

Under the Merida Initiative, the US$2.5 billion security agreement between the United States of America and Mexico, the United States government works alongside the government of Mexico to create a more professional police force.  This support encompasses training for police officers, police supervisors and instructors, technical assistance and equipment donations to police forces, academies, and institutions, and study tours to police academies in the United States to promote greater information exchange and the adoption of internationally-recognized best practices.  Between June 2015 and August 2016, nearly 75 Mexican police officers participated in study tours to the United States, visiting law enforcement institutions in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Through the Merida Initiative, the United States government is also helping to prepare Mexican police officers to meet their responsibilities under Mexico’s new accusatory justice system, including training for First Responder police officers, police investigators, and criminal investigators.

BACKGROUND

The Mérida Initiative is a bilateral security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States. Through eight years of implementation, the Merida Initiative has led to greater cooperation between the United States and AMexico. It has provided tangible support to Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial institutions, helped to counteract the illegal trade in narcotics, and strengthened border security. To date, the Mérida Initiative has delivered US$1.5 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building assistance to the government of Mexico.

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U.S. Mission to Mexico, Oct. 19, 2016, Embassy of the United States, Mexico City

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