Nothing to see here?
Nothing particularly new here (and MexFiles doesn’t take sides in U.S. elections… though the writer does), but there is a reason the U.S. presidential candidates worry us, one in particular.
Jesse Franzblau, writing in Foreign Policy in Focus, recapitulates the sorry story of “Hillary Clinto’s Dark Drug War Legacy in Mexico“.
Since 2008 […] over $2.5 billion [has been] appropriated in security aid through the Mérida Initiative, a drug war security assistance program funded by Washington…. [T]he plan was originally proposed as a three-year program. Yet Hillary Clinton’s State Department pushed aggressively to extend it, overseeing a drastic increase of the initiative that continues today.
Much of this aid goes to U.S.-based security, information, and technology contracting firms, who make millions peddling everything from helicopter training to communications equipment to night-vision goggles, surveillance aircrafts, and satellites.
This aid comes in addition to the direct sales of arms and other equipment to Mexico authorized by the State Department, as Christy Thorton pointed out in a 2014 New York Times op-ed. Those sales reached $1.2 billion in 2012 alone, the last full year of Clinton’s tenure. Indeed, as the Mérida Initiative has grown, Mexico has become one of the world’s biggest purchasers of U.S. military arms and equipment.
But while sales have boomed for U.S.-based contractors, the situation in Mexico has badly deteriorated. The escalation of U.S. counter-drug assistance in the country has paralleled a drastic increase in violence, fueling a drug war that’s killed more than 100,000 people since 2006.
Naturally, Clinton herself was aware of how her department’s support for the Mexican drug war would look in light of the revelations about corruption and human rights abuses.
In January 2011, shortly after the release of a huge tranche of leaked diplomatic cables, Secretary Clinton apologized to her Mexican counterpart Patricia Espinosa for any “embarrassment” caused by the WikiLeaks documents, announcing her intention to get “beyond WikiLeaks” and reaffirm the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Clinton expressed optimism that they could create a better “narrative” than the waste, fraud, and abuse revealed in the cables and regular media accounts and “explain to Congress why foreign assistance money under ‘Beyond Merida’ should continue.”
Clinton’s defense of the status quo in Mexico is “grounded in a vicious cycle of complicities between economic and political elites on both sides of the border.” Indeed, the record available for public scrutiny shows that Clinton’s State Department — rather than addressing human rights concerns over the Mérida funding — focused on ensuring that security assistance continued in the face of abuse, cover-ups, and ongoing impunity.